As a native of season-less California, the transition to New England has been enjoyable. We are now intensely aware of the unique attributes, weather, food, and otherwise, of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
This season of back-to-school, Halloween, and chilly mornings is a favorite in the Skill It kitchen. There are still plenty of fresh greens at the Farmers Market and you can walk in the crisp air, playing in the leaves with kids of all ages.
We love that Fall means apples, scarves, knitting, and soup.
Lots and lots of soup.
Soup is the perfect comfort food. It warms us from the inside out. It can be humble or fancy and either way it’s perfect. It turns odds and ends from your fridge and pantry into a bowl of love and smiles.
Most importantly, kids love and adore soup!
If you are interested in something other than Chicken Noodle and Tomato (though they are certainly delicious) consider making this Fall Harvest Lentil Soup.
Why lentils? Don’t make a big deal of this to the kids, but they are incredibly good for you. They cook quickly (you can have soup in 30-45 minutes!) And they have a gorgeous color and scrumptious flavor.
So how are you going to get those little ones of yours involved in the soup making?
Littlest chefs can cut up the base for your soup, carrots & celery, with a table knife or scissors. Bigger chefs can help measure & pour ingredients into the hot soup pot.
Ready for your French lesson?
Mirepoix (say: meer-pwah) is the holy trinity of onion, carrot & celery that form the flavor base for delicious soups, stocks, and stews.
Depending on the age & interest of your little ones, you can teach them the proper term, “mirepoix,” or you can make up any fun name, such as Veggie Gems, like I often do.
When you have cooked this soup and eaten it, please share with us on the Skill It Facebook Page!
Recipe: Fall Harvest Lentil Soup
2 yellow onions
2 large carrots
3 ribs of celery
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 bunch kale
Herbs to taste:
2-3 bay leaves
2-4 tsp. cumin
Sour Cream or Yogurt (optional)
Chop all your veggies (mirepoix) into small, rough chunks, about the size of peas. Beauty is not important at this step. Slice carrots & celery into long, skinny pieces and hand them over to little ones to cut with table knives or scissors into the small chunks.
Now heat up a large stock pot with enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.
Add the veggies and reduce heat to medium. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until onions become translucent. Then add salt, pepper, and cumin and stir until evenly distributed across all the veggies.
Add broth, then lentils. Add extra water, if necessary, to make sure everything is covered with about 1-2″ of liquid. Add bay leaves.
Keep on medium heat until soup just begins to bubble, then cover pot with lid, reduce heat to low or simmer, and cook for 20-35 minutes. Check frequently to stir and taste, adding a little more cumin or salt if desired. Be sure to have little ones help with the stirring and tasting!
When lentils are soft & creamy, turn the heat off and prepare to serve. Ladle into bowls and top with yogurt, sour cream, or even feta cheese.
Grown-up palates may enjoy a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
You can serve steamed spinach or kale on the side or right in the soup. A green salad also makes a perfect pairing to complete the meal.