That's the engaging approach taken by a really fun new cookbook for kids, Simply in Season Children's Cookbook.
(Disclosure: The publisher Herald Press offered a look at the cookbook. I accepted with the understanding that I'd write about it only if I really did like it. I do! And so might this darling imp and budding cook. Maybe?!)
The colors and page designs are simply beautiful -- imagine seasonal starbursts of fruits and vegetables: spring with peas, red and white potatoes, sliced strawberries and spinach leaves; summer with ears of corn, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, strips of multi-colored peppers and one fat peach in the center.
The photographs are too -- imagine kids' hands in nearly every shot, wiping gooey pumpkin batter into a muffin tin, flexing muscles to mash squash, rolling a sweet potato quesadilla, skewering vegetables for Garden Bobs.
The recipes' names are clever -- imagine the colors and flavors of Peas Please, Stoplight Salad, Polka Dot Pear Pancake and Granny Apple Rice.
And the book is packed with fun little tips -- did you know that a pound of mint can flavor 135,000 sticks of gum?
Anyway, onto the recipe! Green Monster Soup is not in least bit scary-green. So if you think your kids might actually "like" a bit more scariness, then reverse the proportions of cauliflower:broccoli. It makes a bunch -- and because it's milk-based, won't freeze well -- so plan accordingly.
SOUP's ON We've collected nearly 40 great soup recipes, many vegetarian soups but lots of meat soups too. It's a fascinating list with entries from food blogs from all over the world. And if you keep an eye out for new bloggers, this is your list! One used Soup's On for her very first post, another for her third! Check out Soup's On! recipes.
A YEAR AGO White on White Puree "... another heavenly-tasting puree, this one a mix of cauliflower and turnip"
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GREEN MONSTER SOUP
Time to table: ? 35 minutes
Makes 11 cups
1 cup water
1 Idaho potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and chopped
1 head cauliflower, trimmed cored, cut into florets (mine was about 2 1/2 lbs before trimming)
1 large onion, skin removed and chopped
1 head broccoli, stalk skins pared away with vegetable peeler, cut into florets and pieces of stalk (estimated at about 3/4 pound)
3 cups milk (I used whole milk for more richness but skim would be fine)
2 bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or more, I'd up to 1 tablespoon next time)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup milk whisked with 1 tablespoon flour (the 1/3 cup specified was more than this pot needed, judge for yourself depending on how soupy you want the soup to turn out)
1 cup melting cheese (the recipe said Swiss or cheddar, I used fresh Parmesan)
In a very large pot or Dutch oven, bring the water to a boil while prepping the vegetables. Add the potato, cauliflower and onion as they're prepped, covering the pan after each addition. Cook for about 5 minutes until the cauliflower is beginning to soften. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes. You'll want the vegetables to be nearly cooked before proceeding.
Add the milk, bouillon, Worcestshire sauce, cover and heat to boiling. Watch carefully, you don't actually want the milk to boil.
Stir in the milk-flour mixture and cook for 2 - 3 minutes til thickened. Stir in the cheese. Use an immersion blender to puree to the desired consistency. (Or transfer to a blender, filling no more than 1/2 full to avoid the hot liquid exploding all over.)
Season to taste and serve.
Reheats beautifully but won't freeze well because of the milk base.