When my two boys sit down to a heaping bowl of nutrient packed food for lunch and then proceed to gobble up every last bit, I hear angels sing the Hallelujah chorus.
That just happened with minestrone- full of folate, fiber, protein, lycopene, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, polyphenols, etc.!
Here is a recipe for a Kid-friendly Minestrone.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (or water)
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 3 carrots, diced (or about 20 baby carrots if that’s what you have on hand)
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced
- 2 small potatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
- 1 cup uncooked pasta (shells, penne, macaroni, farfalle, or spirals)
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans
- grated cheese (parmesan for adults and kids who like it, or grated cheddar for kids)
- In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, celery and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Add the beans, pasta, oregano, basil and parsley. Cover again and cook for 30 more minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and let the kids top their minestrone with cheese.
A few notes on the recipe:
I use a Vidalia Chop Wizard to chop my onion, garlic, carrots, celery and potato into perfect bite size pieces for kids. Baby carrots are super easy to chop this way.
A note about tomato paste- buy it in the tube so if you have any left over you can save it.
This recipe is pretty low in salt, as my kids won’t eat anything if it’s too salty. The cheese does add a nice touch of salt, but either way definitely add sea salt to taste.
I love to have my boys help me cook- they always seem to get more excited about eating food they have helped prepare. Their favorite part was snipping the fresh basil and parsley from our herb garden.