It’s winter- glorious, chilly, wholesome winter. Time for scarves and boots and, most importantly- soup. I don’t know about you, but I only have about three really good soup recipes. And while they are REALLY GOOD (especially this kid-friendly Minestrone Soup Recipe!), you can only eat the same soups so many times before you get sick and tired of the same old thing.
So when one of our friends suggested we hold a soup exchange, we eagerly hopped on board. The idea is simple: you and a few friends each agree to make four meal-sized servings of soup. You keep one, and exchange the rest with the others. Everyone leaves the day with four soups– a family favorite, and three new recipes to try.
In our case, we decided to meet at the park. We executed our soup swap quickly, stowed our meals away in freezer bags, and let the kids run around together for an hour or so. While we chose to include the kids, you could easily arrange a wine night or girls’ night in that would serve the same purpose. Whatever works for you!
And just in case you find yourself without soup-swappin’ friends, don’t worry. The Salty Mamas (as always) have your back. Try this kid-friendly Minestrone soup recipe that
has been in my family for generations my mom swindled from a favorite restaurant before it closed. It’s simple enough for everyday, hearty enough for a meal, and even tasty enough to serve to company.
A single batch typically renders enough for two meals for my family of four with some leftovers. We keep half to eat that week, and I freeze half for another time (the pasta and zucchini are slightly affected by freezing, but we still think it’s just as good as when it’s served fresh. And you can always add the pasta and zucchini after thawing instead if you’re bothered by small texture changes).
Kid-Friendly Minestrone Soup Recipe
Saute the Onions
First, heat your olive oil over medium-high heat in a stockpot. Saute onions for about a minute. Watch Real Housewives in the background for extra Salty-Mama-Flavor.
Season and Brown the Chicken
Add in your cut up chicken, and coat with Cajun powder (it’s hard to over-season here!) Brown for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add In All Those Healthy Veggies
Next, you’ll add in your chopped veggies and canned ingredients.
Side Note: If your EZ Open Can is not easy to open, do not try to pry it open with a kitchen mallet and a knife sharpener. You know, just in case you were gonna do that. Don’t.
Season Your Kid-Friendly Minestrone Soup Well
Add in your basil, oregano, and bay leaves, as well as salt and pepper to taste. This is going to look like a LOT of seasoning- especially since it all tends to float on the top at the beginning. It’s true that it’s aggressively seasoned, but trust me- it’s gonna work out.
Simmer on Down
Now allow it to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, covered. Give it a stir once in a while to keep things mixed up.
Add the Final Ingredients
Finally, you’ll add in zucchini cubes and pasta. Turn up the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
Garnish and Serve Your Family-Friendly Soup
Serve it up! Top with shredded mozarella cheese if desired. Make sure to remove the bay leaf! I like to serve it with these easy peasy garlic parmesan knots on the side.
If you’ve got a toddler in the house, you can easily turn this into a finger food. Using a slotted spoon, drain off the liquid. You’ll be left with a collection of scrumptious finger foods- pasta! chicken! veggies!- that your toddler will gobble up in no time. Bon appetit!
Kid-Friendly Minestrone Soup Recipe
Whether you serve it up soup style or drain the broth and serve as finger foods, it is easy to sneak in a few more veggies with this kid-friendly minestrone soup recipe.
- 3 Tbsp Olive OIl
- 1 Red Onion chopped
- 3 Chicken Breasts chopped into bite-size pieces
- Cajun Powder to taste
- 3 Carrots peeled and cut into rounds
- 3 stalks Celery diced
- 2 cans Chicken Broth
- 3 cups Water
- 2 cans Italian Tomatoes
- 1 can Kidney Beans drained
- 2-3 Tbsp Basil
- 2-3 Tbsp Oregano
- 1 Bay Leaf (remove before serving)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Zuchinni chopped
- 8 oz Small Shell Pasta
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
Saute the chopped onions in the olive oil, about 1 minute.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place in the pot on top of the onions and thoroughly coat with Cajun powder. Mix with onions and brown for 5-10 minutes.
Add broth, water, carrot rounds, celery, drained beans, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and 1 bay leaf. Be warned- this is going to look like a LOT of seasoning, especially since the herbs float on the surface of the water. I promise this will normalize as it cooks and this is not some crazy typo! Season with salt and pepper to taste (you can add more later if needed). Bring to a low boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, covered. Stir occasionally.
Add in zucchini cubes and 1/2 pound of pasta. Return heat to medium high and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaf. Top with mozarella cheese as desired. Serve and enjoy!