Cauliflower, pea and mint soup

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It’s easy to get a bit casual about your kids’ veggie intake. Especially when one or both or all of them hate them. My 6 year old son is pretty veg averse. I would say in this respect he’s probably fairly average though, having fed quite a few of his mates. My almost 4 year old daughter is better, but she has a few that she won’t eat. I’d just kind of accepted that Arthur wasn’t into his veg. But a recent trip to the podiatrist to investigate what we though was his flat feet gave me the kick up the bum I needed.

The physio and podiatrist agreed he didn’t have flat feet, rather very tight hamstrings. This has caused one knee to bend inward (pronate). It gives him a little pain and also I think affects his confidence in sports. So anyway, aside from giving us some stretches to alleviate the tightness, she stressed the importance of children his age who are growing at such a fast rate of eating vegetables. In particular leafy greens, which this recipe hasn’t got but I am increasing the amount of greens based recipes. Arthur seems to listen more when a doctor says something like that, and he has responded by agreeing he will eat some greens. His ‘acceptable’ ones are spinach and broccoli. And he is fine about veggies when they are in a soup like this, especially when there is loads of parmesan grated on top.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: homemade soups are a great way to get veggies into fussy kids. Even if they just dunk their bread and butter in a few times, they are getting some goodness. I always make a stock with chicken carcass, so they are getting the nutrition from the bones too. Soup is just so easy to make – I just chuck in a few things that I know will go. Cauliflower makes great soup, as do peas, but I’d never combined them. It works, especially with the addition of mint.

What are your tricks for getting veg into fussy kids? Do share, we are in this together after all!!

Serves: 4-6 people
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cauliflower, leaves too if in good condition, broken into florets
500g frozen peas
1 potato, peeled and cubed
500ml -1 litre of chicken stock (I never measure stock, but just use enough so I have a nice thick consistency)
75g Parmesan, plus more to serve
Salt and pepper
Handful of fresh mint
Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

  1. Heat some oil in a pan and add chopped garlic and onion. Soften for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, potato, and stock – just add enough to make a thick soup – you can always add more later. Bring to boil.
  3. When they are almost soft – about 15 minutes – tip in peas and let it cook for a few more minutes, until peas are cooked.
  4. Whizz with a blender. Add seasoning, plus cheese and mint. Pulse again.
  5. Serve with more cheese, mint and a drizzle of extra virgin. And plenty of bread and butter for dipping.
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