My seven year old loves soup. That was only after we discovered that if she drank the broth through a straw, then she could spoon up all the good stuff with little to no mess. She also loves to take soup in a thermos in her lunchbox, which is a lot easier than making a sandwich AND, more importantly, is MUCH healthier than what is being served in the cafeteria (that is fodder for another blog).
On Sunday I was in a soup making kind of mood, and had chicken noodle in mind until I realized I had no chicken. I like to include some sort of protein in my soups so they are more of a meal, and a can of white cannellini beans seemed to be the perfect (vegetarian!) substitute. Before you think you do not have time to make soup, keep reading. I’m not talking long-simmering, all-day-long-soup. I’m talking ten minutes, fifteen tops. You have ten minutes, right?
I use carrots and green beans, but you can use whatever veggies your kids are most likely to eat (peas? corn? celery?). Then I add pasta (small shapes are best—orzo, ditalini, mini shells) and the beans, and as soon as the pasta is cooked and the veggies are tender, soup’s on.
Vegetarian Orzo and Bean Soup
6 cups canned low-sodium vegetable broth
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into small slices
4-6 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ lengths
1/2 cup orzo pasta (I like whole wheat orzo)
1 – 14 oz can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
In a large pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the carrots, green beans, and orzo. Return to a boil and cook until everything is tender (mainly the pasta). Add the beans and heat through.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese if desired.