Now that the holiday rush has subsided, we are more or less unpacked and settling into our new abode. Alas, its time. Time to address our family’s eating habits that is. We’re looking at how to stretch our food budget, eat better, and increase the sense of variety in our meals. During our huge interstate transition, we ate out a lot and unfortunately the Spouts got hooked on restaurant food such as hot dogs, fries, ketchup, and the like. I’m revisiting Karen le Billon’s French Kids Eat Everything and hoping to glean some practical and transforming tips. We want our brood to enjoy the taste of real food and not have to covertly hide spinach in their brownies a la Jessica Seinfeld. Billon discusses in the book that the French puree a lot of their vegetables to make them more palatable to the younger set. Since its been below freezing most days here, soup has been my vehicle for such introductions. I was delighted to receive an immersion blender over the holidays and only wonder why we didn’t get one of these babies sooner! I can’t honestly report that the Sprouts have been gleefully welcoming these meals yet, but at least they are eating them without a riot. Its a step in the right direction.
Here is one meal that went over fairly well. The soup recipe is one I’ve had for ages. Its a photocopy from someone. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who it came from and the name of the book isn’t on the page, so if anyone recognizes it feel free to contact me and I’ll gladly give the appropriate credit where credit is due. I served this Orange Carrot Soup with the sour cream muffins found in another favorite book, Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer (highly recommended, by the way!) I knew the kids would eat the muffins and I’m finding that introducing a new dish with something I know they’ll love is quite redeeming. They ate the soup just fine, much to my relief. Honestly, I think the novelty of being served soup containing orange juice was in my favor. Some other great soup recipes I’m also digging are from Cynthia Lair’s Feeding the Whole Family. They’re yummy, healthy, and inexpensive!
Orange Carrot Soup
3 cups fresh chicken stock
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped (I used a variety of orange, purple, and yellow carrots from our Bountiful Baskets collection that week and just tossed them into the food processor instead)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 -1/2 cups orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Combine carrots and onions with chicken stock in medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree with immersion blender and serve. (Garnish with fresh mint leaves if your kiddos will eat them!)