‘Tis the season for soup. My littles do not always want foods all cooked together but are sort of interested in soup. Sometimes I give them more “stuff” and less broth. I ensure we have it with something else in case they aren’t all-in (like biscuits or crackers & cheese). Not all eaters consider soup to be a meal, so go all Panera on them and do soup & sandwich while figuring out what’s a hit.
Our easiest go-to is making tomato soup with grilled cheese. My cheater method is:
1 can of tomato soup + 1/2 can of milk or broth if it is condensed
1 28 oz can of kitchen-ready tomatoes
plus whatever seasoning you like – some basil & garlic or a splash of cooking sherry makes it delightful. Stir in pesto or tortellini or whatever you like!
Cook together over medium-low heat for 15 minutes to get the tinny can flavor out
That is so fast & mindless and you get the hint of creaminess from the canned soup version with the not-sweetened canned tomatoes for true tomato flavor and I add an extra swirl of cream to the kids’ bowls to cool it down.
Here are some of my personal favs:
Greek Lemon, Orzo, and Chicken Soup
This one is so fresh and orzo-packed that I think it is filling yet simple. I always think it needs more and more lemon so have lots! Serve with hummus & pita chips
Sweet & Smokey Chili (add some sweet potato!)
While mostly a basic chili, sweet and smokey chili gets a few last touches to sweeten it up – maple syrup, sweet potato, and liquid smoke. In the past, this one has been more palatable for the kids and toppings of cheese, corn, chips, and sour cream can help make it work well for everyone!
Cheeseburger Soup is so fun and really filling. We once did them in bread bowls but some croutons would be fun. I add an extra drizzle of ketchup, mustard and some scallions and pickles!
White Bean & Sausage Soup is quick and the sausage is nicely decadent while being loaded with greens. Sweet Italian sausage or spicy sausage are equally great. Serve with bread or rolls!
Easy Homemade Ramen is a go-to lunch for me – with varying levels of add-ins. I’ve been known to chop a ton of arugula or some frozen spinach. Popping in some ginger paste or frozen ginger cubes and a splash of rice vinegar would all provide some big time flavor while using half the seasoning packet or your own broth.