Monday, August 13, 2007
Cooking for my children gives me more pleasure than is probably healthy. Like most things about parenthood, it's ultimately more about me than them, but still, I feel a deep satisfaction when I get them to eat something warm and full of veggies and I’m not afraid to admit I sometimes feel a bit smug about this. But then I feel them pizza three nights in a row and I’m humble again.
Over the four years since I’ve had children, I have developed some rather good recipes that appeal to little ones—plain, but flavorful, small bite-size pieces, and a large amount of veggies snuck into the mix. Oh, and ideally the recipe should be fast--nothing like starving children to give you a migraine or sending you hitting the booze harder than normal. This soup actually uses boxed chicken stock, but if I have time, I usually make my own from left over roast chicken bones and old veggies and then freeze it for soups whenever I need it. (See, I *am* a little smug). I also added an optional half-cup of leftover pasta, which I always seem to have in the back of the fridge, in this recipe, but you don't need it.
2 boxes organic chicken stock (Imagine brand is decent)
I large organic skinless, boneless chicken breast
5 carrots, chopped into small rounds
3 celery stocks, chopped into small pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1 large handful of parsley, tied with kitchen string
1 cup of any or any combo of the following frozen peas, fresh or frozen corn, fresh or frozen broccoli chopped into bite-size pieces, zucchini chopped finely, or any other veggies you have on-hand that your kids might like.
1/2 cup of leftover plain pasta, any shape, already cooked (optional)
Salt and pepper
Time: 30 minutes, from start to finish
In a large saucepan, add chicken stock, chicken breast (no need to chopped in yet), carrots, celery, onion, garlic and parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken is fully poached, about 20 minutes.
Remove chicken breast with a slotted spoon and place on a cutting board. Remove parsley and discard. Chop chicken into very small pieces and return to pot with vegetables and pasta, if using. Simmer everything until veggies are cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6 kids. Especially good served with grilled cheese sandwiches.