Hidden vegetable soup is a great way to get kids who are picky eaters to eat large quantities of vegetables.
I know some mums think hiding veggies is a bad idea and I agree picky eaters need to get used to the texture of vegetables.
But, if it’s a trade off between one tiny mouthful of broccoli and a super large “hidden” helping of veggies eaten without protest, I plump for the latter.
Soup is particularly brilliant for hiding the green veggies that kids can find bitter, because you can puree everything up, add some lentils or beans for protein, then serve the soup with loads of cheese and yummy garlic bread for an extremely healthy quick meal.
Hidden vegetable soup is also a great way to introduce your kids to great value seasonal root veggies in winter.
The BIG trick to making hidden vegetable soup fast
The BIG BIG trick to making tasty hidden vegetable soup fast is using frozen veggies.
I try to shop for vegetables once a week, chop them all up and bag them into portions to pop in the freezer.
I’ll even freeze chopped celery and garlic.
That way you can start making soup in just a few minutes, then leave it completely alone for 15 – 20 minutes until you need to blend it.
It’s definitely on the table in less than 30 minutes with only 5 minutes actual effort.
(If like me you are a bit rubbish chopping veg you must check out this FREE video class … which has the BEST tips for cutting veg quickly … Lesson 4 is the one to watch.)
Two core hidden vegetable soup recipe
I have two core recipes for making picky eater friendly hidden vegetable soup.
One is a basic vegetable recipe and the other is a creamier version.
Basic hidden vegetable soup recipe
- Onion, celery or shallots gently fried in oil until soft
- With garlic if you prefer which I do
- A couple of hundred grams of vegetables per person .. you can always freeze leftovers
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- Adding anything that takes a while to cook into a large saucepan first – root vegetables will need 15 to 20 minutes
- Add very quick cook vegetables and a quarter to a half a can of pulses for last few minutes
- Once all the vegetables are soft, blend them with a hand blender or in a blender
- Put the blended veggies back into the saucepan for a final warm through
Cream hidden vegetable soup recipe
- 1/2 cup / 110g butter
- 1/2 cup / 90g plain flour
- 2 cups / 0.5 litres of milk sprinkled with vegetable stock powder and seasoning
- 1 onion
- 2 sticks celery
- 200g mixed seasonal vegetables of your choice
- Melt the butter in a saucepan at a medium heat
- Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste (roux)
- Turn the heat down low
- Add the 2 cups / 0.5 litres of milk with stock powder and seasoning
- Keep stirring over a low heat until the creamy sauce thickens
- Sautée the onion and celery in a frying pan
- Steam or cook the vegetables in a separate saucepan
- Add the onion, celery and vegetables to the creamy sauce
- Blend using a hand blender or blender
- Put the soup back in the saucepan for a gentle warm through
Toppings, Seasoning & Extras
Picky eaters can struggle with the flavour as well as the texture of some veggies, particularly green leafy vegetables.
Blending green veggies with kid-friendly tastes, like peas or carrots, helps to make the flavours more palatable, but you can also hide flavour with dollops of dairy, mild spices and grated cheese.
So that’s my core hidden vegetable soup recipes. Of course you want to get a variety of different veggies into your picky eater and you also want to ensure their palette is given the opportunity to experience an array of different flavours.
So, here’s a list of 50 ideas for creating hidden vegetable soups that picky eaters will love.
50 Soups for Picky Eaters
- Spinach & pea
- Spinach & leek
- Spinach & cheese
- Spinach & butternut squash
- Spinach & red pepper
- Spinach & sausage
- Spinach & potato with nutmeg
- Cauliflower cheese
- Cauliflower, potato & cheese
- Cauliflower & ginger
- Cauliflower & carrot
- Curried cauliflower
- Broccoli & cheese soup
- Broccoli & potato & cheese
- Broccoli & potato & cheese & ham
- Cream of broccoli with tomato puree
- Kale & white bean with tomato puree
- Kale & white bean with tomato puree & bacon
- Kale & mushroom
- Kale & mushroom & sausage
- Chard, lentil & sausage
- Chard, white bean & tomato puree
- Watercress & pea
- Pea & ham
- Pea & pumpkin
- Pea & lentil
- Pea & lettuce
- Green bean, potato & ham
- Leek & cheese
- Leek & tomato
- Leek & mushroom
- Carrot & lentil
- Carrot & lentil & leek
- Carrot & orange
- Parsnip & apple
- Curried parsnip
- Pumpkin & nutmeg
- Curried pumpkin
- Cabbage, potato & fontina
- Cabbage & apple
- Curried cabbage & parsnip
- Cabbage & bacon
- Cabbage, tomato & tomato puree
- Minestrone with brussel sprout
- Celery & cheese
- Jersusalem artichoke
- Jerusalem artichoke & spinach
- Curried artichoke
- Cream of mushroom with spinach & tomato puree
- Beetroot & orange
And have a look at The Sneaky Chef from Missy Chase Lapine … who is the expert in hiding huge quantities of daily veggies in kids’ food.
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