Tips For Delicious Vegetable Soup Recipes

Vegetable soup has to be the easiest soup to make. If you fancy a healthy, wholesome and simple lunch or supper, what about making a bowl of pumpkin soup, broccoli broth or mixed vegetable soup? Soup is easy enough for anybody to master and if you have some vegetables past their prime in the refrigerator, you can use them to make a wonderful meal.

The great thing about using vegetables in soup is that you can use any vegetables and you can combine them however, you like. What about combining broccoli and carrot, zucchini and cauliflower or pumpkin and corn?

You can be creative with vegetable soups and if you are using old vegetables, which need using up, making a soup is a great way to do this. You can get older vegetables at a reduced price from the grocery store and use them in an economical and tasty soup recipe.

How to Make Soup the Easy Way

The simplest way to make a vegetable soup is to simmer some chopped vegetables in a pot of water or broth. Add spices and herbs and perhaps some other ingredients. Raisins, garlic, fruit, nuts, cream, chili, and rice can all be used, and there are many more ingredients you can throw in too.

Obviously, you will need to decide which ingredients will go nicely with the soup you are making. If you are making a carrot and orange soup, you might like to add some curry powder, raisins, and peanuts to make it a curried soup. Add some potatoes or rice too and stir in some cream just before serving the soup.

If you are using chicken broth and an assortment of vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, rutabaga, and carrots, you can add herbs to bring out the flavor. Add dried herbs when you add the vegetables or fresh herbs near the end of the cooking time.

When making sweet soups, like a recipe for pumpkin soup, you might like to add cream, sugar and maybe some nutmeg or cinnamon to bring out the sweetness of the pumpkin. Alternatively, you can use salt, garlic, onion powder, and herbs to make a more savory soup. Throw in all the ingredients, cook the soup until the vegetables are tender and then serve it as it is or puree it in a blender.

Recipe for Mixed Vegetable Soup

In this soup recipe, the vegetables are sauteed before the other ingredients are added. This is an optional step but if you are making vegetable soup, you might like to do this, to soften the vegetables and make them extra juicy.

What you will need:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
8 button mushrooms, in 1/4 inch slices
2 carrots, in 1/4 inch slices
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups water
Handful green beans, trimmed and halved
Salt and black pepper, to taste

How to make it:

Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot, then saute the carrot, onion and beans for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for two more minutes. Add the water, broth and potatoes, and some salt and pepper.

Bring the soup to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer it until the potatoes are soft. Add the parsley and season the soup again.

Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

Kids aren’t born hating vegetables, they are taught it. Most likely they’ve learned from watching how their parents reacted to eating vegetables. If you love broccoli, then chances are your kids might like it as well. I use to eat huge plates of broccoli when I was a kid.

Getting kids to eat fruit really isn’t a problem. Stick to a bowl of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries apples, oranges or anything like that and the kids will eat it up. Trying to take a kids peach is almost as bad as trying to take their candy. Heck I’ve seen kids love lemons. Weird, but true.

This article gives you some pointers on how to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and less candy, junk, ice cream, etc.

The most important thing to do is to not hide vegetables from them. Don’t try to conceal them. This will tell them that their unpleasant and that they should avoid them. If they learn from a young age to enjoy vegetables they will eat them the rest of their lives.

Get an early start

As hard as it is to believe, kids to learn their eating habits added very young age. Studies show that the average age is around two or even younger. From the time that they start two to eat semi solid foods they should be given vegetables. Only give them vegetables and nothing else to reward them. Meaning do not reward them for eating vegetables with some sort of sweet or treat. You have to give them the idea that vegetables are that treat..

Even if you don’t like vegetables you’re going to have to toughen up here and shown that you really do like vegetables. Take that carrot, chew it up, and put a big smile on your face.

Let them pick

There’s nothing kids like more than having the power to pick something themselves. Go through the vegetable isles at the supermarket and let them look and explore. Explain that the green vegetables make them big and strong. Tell the carrots make their eyes like an eagle. Make them feel like superheroes. Try to choose a variety of colors and explain what each color of vegetable contributes.

If you don’t know what each color vegetable does, google “vegetable colors” and you should find some really good information.

Letting them help

Thinking back on your childhood what are some of the earliest memories you have? Are any of them sitting with your mother, your grandmother, your father or some other family member somewhere cooking something? Chances are they are. Most kids, when you ask them to describe their earliest memories, often talk about cooking something with a family member. Many chefs including some of the most famous got their start by cooking with an influential family member.

Letting the kids get involved in preparing meals not only creates a bond and experience between you and the children it also allows you to teach them good nutrition. If they are able to help prepare the vegetables they will want to be able to try what they’ve made.

No Cookie Jars!

Looking on your countertop right now, are there any junk foods that are in plain sight for your kids to see? Do they have access to chips, cookies or ice cream? If so they shouldn’t. Remove anything that’s in plain sight that is considered junk food. Grab a bowl, fill it with fruit and stick it on the counter. Keep good food in sight and hide the bad stuff. When the kids open the fridge they should see carrots, maybe celery sticks, oranges, apples or any type of fruit or vegetable should be visible. All the junk food (if you have any) should be out of their site.

Another good idea is to have 100% fruit juice in the fridge for them to drink. Again kids are going follow what they see you do. They see you drinking soda all day there going to do the same thing. That doesn’t mean you can’t drink soda, just put the soda behind the juice.

Test your green thumb

Even if you live in New York City, you can grow at garden in just a little box. Teaching your children how to grow, how to pick, and the fun of eating the stuff that you grow will really help them create love for vegetables. Not to mention that anything you grow yourself you know where it came from. Growing vegetables is beyond this article but you should be able to find a plethora of information by googleing “grow vegetables at home”

Now this is important, let them do the picking. There’s something about the smile on a kids face after they’ve picked something they grew.

Researching Vegetable Recipes They Like

Doing 5 minutes of research online can literally find hundreds of recipes. Do a quick google search for “kids vegetable recipes” and you’ll be very surprised about the number of very tasty and very healthy recipes the two kids will love to make with you.

Another recommendation is to watch some cooking shows that are known for cooking healthy meals. 30 minute meals, good eats, etc. That’s not an excuse to sit on the couch all day though!

Pull out the WOK

The Chinese never had any problems with diabetes until they adopted the western style of cooking and eating. That’s kind of telling. One of the best, if not the best, way to cook vegetables is stir frying. Stir frying requires very little fat to be added to the vegetables. Even with very little oil the taste of the vegetables get sealed in and creates a delicious side dish or meal.

Try to get many different kinds of vegetables together to make a vegetable medley. A quick meal may with just stir fried vegetables can show your kids how delicious vegetables can be. You don’t have to throw in beef or chicken and are any other type of meat just the veggies.

Put the dip in it

One way to get kids to eat more vegetables is to have a very healthy dip to have them eat their vegetables with. Here is a very simple dill dip:

½ cup dried dill weed

½ cup dried minced onion

½ cup dried parsley

½ cup Beau Monde Seasoning

When you want to use this makes simply combine it with 1 cup of low fat mayonnaise 1 cup of low fat yogurt and 3 tablespoons of the mix above. Believe me this dip is awesome.

Hold the soda, get the juice

It’s no secret that soda is not a very good choice for kids. Yet the majority of parents, to quiet their children, give in and let their children drink soda. Of course anything is OK in moderation but soda should be the exception. In my experience once kids drink soda, juice is out of the picture. They’ll be begging for soda and juice will be an afterthought. But remember they learn from what they see. If soda isn’t in the house they can drink it. If they see you drinking 10 sodas a day, why shouldn’t they?

Giving them 100% juice early on while help them develop a love for it. Heck, you can even make your own with a juicer.

Vegetables – Benefits, Usefulness and Nutritional Values

Vegetables of all types form a most valuable part of our diet. They play an important role in maintaining general good health, owing to the presence of mineral elements and vitamins. These substances help to build bone, teeth etc., Vegetables also protect the body from diseases and regulate the body processes on which vitality and good health depend. Presence of indigestible cellulose or roughage in vegetables helps to keep the large bowel functioning regularly in the elimination of unwanted matter from the body.

The green color of leafy vegetables is due to the presence of the green pigment chlorophy II. Chlorophy II is affected by pH. In acid conditions, it changes to olive green, and in alkali conditions, it becomes bright green. Some of the acids are released in steam when vegetables are cooking, particularly if they are cooked without a cover. The yellow or orange color of vegetables is due to the presence of carotenoids which are not affected by normal cooking processes or change in pH.

Root vegetables are of importance in the diet for the simple reason that they are filing, carbohydrate being their main food factor. Green vegetables are generally eaten in the form of vegetable stews and soups. In order to obtain the best possible nutrient, vegetables should be eaten raw as often as possible. Many of the valuable contents can be completely destroyed by bad cooking.

Values of Vegetables:

Vegetables can generally be defined as herbaceous plants used for culinary purposes. They are used to increase the quality of soups and also for their dietary potentials. They are made of chiefly of cellulose, hemi-cellulose and pectic substances. Sugar, starch, minerals and vitamins are also present in vegetables. In addition to vitamins and roughage, they also contain water and mineral salts, namely Calcium, Iron, Sulphur and Potash. Green vegetables provide very little else than roughage, water, Iron and Vitamin A, B and C vary in quantity with particular types of vegetables.

Fresh vegetables are of great importance in the diet because of the presence of vitamins and mineral salts. The cellulose incites peristaltic movement and indirectly helps digestion and prevents constipation. On the other hand, old and very coarse vegetables cause indigestion. Mature dry legumes including Cow peas in different varieties, Soya beans, Bambara nuts, Groundnuts and all other beans or dry peas are rich sources of protein and moderately rich sources of thiamine. Whereas, groundnuts are extra-ordinarily good sources of niacin.

Average composition of vegetables are as follows:
· Green vegetables: Water = 83% – 92%; Protein = 1% – 2%; Carbohydrates = 3% – 8%; Mineral salts = 1% – 2%; Vitamins = A, B, C, k.
· Root vegetables: Water = 75% – 85%; Protein = 0.5% – 2%; Carbohydrates = 5% – 18%; Mineral salts = 0.8% – 1%; Vitamins = A, B, C.
· Pulses: Water = 70% – 78%; Protein = 5% – 15%; Carbohydrates = 14% – 18%; Mineral salts = 0.5% – 1%; Vitamins = B.

Classification of Vegetables:

Vegetables may be divided into the following classes

1. Green – (leaves) cabbage, Spinach, Green beans.

2. Bulbous roots – Onions, Shallots, etc.

3. Roots or Tubers – Potatoes, Cassava, Yams, Carrots, Cocoyam, etc.

4. Flowers or Head – Broccoli, Canliflower, Okro, Pumpkin, ‘Isapa’, etc.

5. Fruits – Eggplant, Cottonseed, Cashew, Benniseed (Sesame), ‘Apon’, Breadfruit, Cucumber, ‘Ogbono’, Beans, Peas, Tomatoes, Red and green pepper, Corn, Groundnut, Soya beans, Bambara nut. (The bean and nuts are also referred to as Legumes and pulses.)

Choices of Vegetables:

Vegetables should be chosen carefully. The following points should be considered in order to get adequate nutritional benefits:

1. Choose fresh, crisp vegetables of good color. Damaged, wilted and bruised vegetables should be avoided as there is likely to be waste and loss of nutrients.

2. Root vegetables should be firm and free of spade marks.

3. Choose vegetables of medium size. They are more economical to cook and are generally of the best flavour. Very large vegetables are often coarse in texture and poor in flavour.

4. Insect or mould-infected vegetables should be avoided.

5. Use vegetables straight from the garden or allotment whenever possible.

In conclusion, out-of-date methods should be discarded and the newer and improved methods adopted if vegetables are to take their rightful place in the diet.