It’s been an incredible summer, and I am so sad to see it go, but it’s time to get back on schedule and feed these children healthy snacks and meals on the go.
Packaged food is most compelling now. It’s so easy to take a protein bar and a tangerine or even a handful of nuts on the way out the door, but active kids need nutrient dense foods.
Last year I made mostly sandwiches to take with them. They were filling and easy to do in advance. These included BBQ chicken and cheddar on a crunchy roll or filet on sourdough with brie cheese and arugula, but after a year of that the kids begged me to stop and make them something real to eat. Over the summer we ate out at places like Chipotle or Chow in Lafayette. I bought packaged salads from Whole Foods, but now it’s time for a change. I’ve decided soup is the answer. It can be put in a thermos and taken to school or in the car, and can be reheated as a bedtime snack.
The only problem is what kind of soup? I gave my kids a cookbook full of soup recipes and they rejected them all. And if you really think about it, there aren’t that many traditional healthy soups that appeal to kids and chicken noodle can get old. Even our beloved Chicken Tortilla Soup (see recipe in my book Real Food for Real People) can’t be made every day.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I bought some sausage and was going to make pasta, but my younger daughter collapsed on the soccer field from dehydration, so I decided to use it for a soup to help keep her hydrated. I wondered what else can I put in it? What would the kids like?
I love to use fresh garlic and ginger when I am cooking, but for this soup I needed these flavors so I could serve this it with toasted Naan (this is the hook to get the kids interested in the soup). Click here for an easy recipe from a fellow blogger for glutton free Naan.
Spicing up the soup with fresh ginger doesn’t only make it taste better it is a natural remedy for reducing inflammation (e.g. sports injuries). It’s also dairy and wheat free. What really made this soup extra delicious was the house made sausages from my friends at Whole Foods. I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but I actually asked the butcher if the Chicken Asian Sausage was grass fed! He looked really confused and then I realized chickens don’t eat grass. My goodness, my mother would roll over in her grave. I’m a long way from my childhood living on a farm in Monmouth, Oregon. Not that we had chickens, we had grass fed cattle and everything we ate was organic, most of it grown in the garden by my clever mother. Never the less, the sausage in the soup does all of the heavy lifting for flavor and my kids love it. Click here to read more about the sausage making process at Whole Foods Market.
2 Whole Foods handmade sausages (any flavor you like, I used the Asian seasoned with ginger)
1/2 white onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic finely diced
1 knuckle fresh ginger grated
1/2 cup carrots diced
1 red pepper chopped
2 cups organic chicken broth (see my homemade recipe in my book Real Food for Real People)
1 can of tomato sauce (15 oz.)
1 box or can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans rinsed
1 cup frozen organic kale
1/2 cup frozen peas or edamame
1/2 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper
1. In a large soup or stock pot sauté sausage for 1 minute, and then add garlic and onion. The sausage has enough fat that you don’t need olive oil and starting the sausage first will help ensure you do not scorch the garlic. While these ingredients on browning you can chop the veggies.
2. Once the sausage is brown and the onions translucent add the ginger, carrots, broth, tomato sauce and red pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 min.
3. Add the beans and frozen veggies and heat through.
4. Salt and pepper to taste.
This soup reheats and freezes extremely well. Freeze in single serving glass containers for easy reheating.