When asked, my children thought that the secret ingredient was potatoes.
- One head of cauliflower, or equal portions broccoli and cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) diced onions
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, diced or coined
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cooked butternut/acorn/hubbard squash/roasted pumpkin
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) spinach leaves/steamed zucchini
- 2 cups (16 ounces) chicken/beef/vegetable stock
- 1 cup (8 ounces) milk, non-dairy milks may be used although the final product may be thinner
- 1/8 cup (2 ounces) olive oil, butter, fat, or grease for frying
- Optional, yet nice ingredients: 1/4 cup (2 ounces) ham, 1/4 cup (2 ounces) fresh cream
Add oil or grease of your choice to a heavy bottomed stock or soup
pot. Fry the onions, carrots, and garlic either separately, or together,
over medium heat until they have reached your preferred amount of
doneness, I like the carrots to be slightly crunchy, and the onions
carmelized, however this takes time I don't usually have. Onions fried
in bacon grease add depth to this recipe, I used leftover sausage
drippings that gave the soup a more robust flavor than if I had used oil
When your carrots and onions are done, add your chopped
cauliflower/broccoli. Pour your stock over your vegetables, and while
you wait for them to boil over high heat, put your milk in a blender if
you have one. If you don't have a blender, you may use a hand mixer, if
you don't have either of these, put your squash/pumpkin on a plate, and
mash thoroughly with a fork. Gently incorporate your milk into the
squash/pumpkin, it should be thick and gloppy.
If your children are picky eaters that will freak at the site of
spinach in soup, I recommend skipping it if you do not have a blender.
If you have a blender, drop the spinach into the blender with your milk
and orange vegetable puree. Scoop some of the cauliflower/broccoli
mixture into your blender, and puree until the contents of your carafe
are a delightful pale lime color.
Reduce the heat on your boiling soup, stir your blender puree into
the stovetop ingredients, and heat thoroughly until your soup is serving
temperature. I did not add salt, pepper, or any seasonings as the
sausage drippings I used were very rich, if you do not have a flavorful
oil or grease to use, salt and pepper the soup according to your individual
palate. Children like to have choices, so I asked mine whether they
wanted their soup in a mug or a bowl. I also diced ham for them to put
into their soup.
The girls were able to identify cauliflower, but neither of them
guessed that I had also added spinach, and butternut squash. My family
has trouble with a vitamin A deficiency, I created this recipe as a way
to get more orange and yellow vegetables into my children disguised with
ingredients that I thought they would eat. My oldest consumed it with
relish. My youngest asked why it was green, incorrectly guessed that
there were peas, cucumbers, and zucchini, and had one tiny lick off of
Cream added at the last minute makes this soup richer, more
flavorful, and offers fat which is necessary for absorption of vitamin
A. This recipe is extremely flexible, feel free to add things you
prefer, or subtract ingredients you don't care for. Pureed vegetables
are a wonderful way to increase nutrient density without sacrificing
taste, if you are new to this, I recommend starting out with bland or
sweet orange/yellow vegetables, and gradually moving towards
heartier, green varieties.
As always, your feedback is welcome, and appreciated.