Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alphabet Soup

I suppose the bright side of the drastic dip in temperature this week is that it makes this recipe more appropriate to make. 

It was inspired by Big A's insistance that because of her wiggly top front tooth, she must eat only very soft foods.  I am very dismayed that she is just as distraught over this tooth, as her two bottom ones, which have already fallen out.  Since this is only tooth #3 that she is losing, we are going to have to go through this drama many more times over before she has all her adult teeth in.  Sigh!  I am going to have to remind her again that she will never be able to get her ears pierced until she can deal with pain a bit better.  Perhaps I'm being's possible that it's really painful, I just don't remember being distressed about losing my teeth as a kid, and certainly most of  Big A's friends seem fine with it too.

Anyways, this is a healthy, kid-friendly, wiggly-tooth friendly recipe that makes a great lunch or dinner for the little ones. 

I've kept it very simple for little taste buds, but you can always jazz it up with extra herbs, spices and/or veggies of your choosing.

I used Artesian Acres organic kamut alphabet pasta, but any whole grain pasta will do.  If you haven't tried this kamut pasta, you definitely should (pictured below is their linquine). 

We eat it frequently in our home and it's awesome.  This brand is also Canadian.  It's available across the country in health food stores, and even Loblaws.

This version of the soup is vegan, but you could use diced up chicken breasts and chicken stock in place of the lentils and vegetable broth if you prefer.

Alphabet Soup

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry red lentils
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
650g bottle passata (strained tomatoes)
1 litre or more vegetable broth (preferably low sodium)
1/2 cup whole grain alphabet pasta

Saute lentils, veggies and Italian seasoning in oil in a large soup pot set over medium heat.  Add a bit of stock, if necessary to prevent scorching, and cook until veggies start to soften.  Add tomatoes and broth and turn heat down to low.  Simmer until veggies and lentils are soft.  Use immersion blender and puree soup (or transfer some or all to a food processor or blender).  If soup becomes too thick, thin it out with additional broth or water.  Add pasta and cook until tender. 

Tip: Freeze extra in ice cube trays so you can pop out kid-sized portions for a quickie meal.

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