This vegetable soup recipe may be kid-friendly, but grown-ups will come back for seconds too! With carrots, peas, and pasta, this soup is hearty enough for a main course. It’s a delicious meatless meal for any time.
My daycare kids LOVE soup and this vegetable soup recipe is one of their favorites. I serve it with a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit on the side. Then it’s creditable for the food program as the bread and vegetable. And it’s so easy the kids can help you make it. Then you have an activity too.
Noodle vegetable soup recipe
In my experience of 26 years of daycare and 29 being a mom, kids like everything better with pasta. I make a vegetable beef soup with my kids that they absolutely love, but even the pickiest eater will eat this veggie-only recipe with pasta in it. You could go crazy and combine them and add the meat and the pasta. It would be good any way you do it.
Soup for kids
I rarely have a child that doesn’t love soup. It’s healthy, full of nutritious broth, hearty, warming, and overall so satisfying. And my kids just tear it up. I love it too, so it’s a win for me when we have it for daycare lunches.
I love serving soup because you can hide more nutrients in it. I use my green powder in my soups to add the nutrients from some greens that just look like herbs and are undetected in flavor. You can also grate zucchini or yellow squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, or whatever else you want to slip into the recipe and no one will notice those either.
I often use pumpkin puree in my soups. It adds a little bulk, but pumpkin is extremely nutritious too. I decorate my porch with them in the fall, then roast them up into my own pumpkin puree and freeze it in two-cup increments to use in all kinds of recipes. You could do that with all kinds of healthy veggies.
Soup is a great vessel to feed a ton of hungry kids a bunch of great stuff they can see and some they can’t see.
So for this soup, I used frozen vegetables which saves me a ton of time. I could cut up carrots and green beans myself. You could also use canned. But using frozen gives more nutrition without the extra time of cutting them yourself. I’m all about saving time when I’m outnumbered by this circus of monkeys.
How do you thicken vegetable soup?
If you want the soup a little thicker, there are several ways you can do that. You can start your soup with a roux at the sweated onion stage. Once the onion is cooked, add a few tablespoons of flour to the pot and cook and stir until slightly browned. Then toss in the stock and stir like crazy. As the soup cooks, it will thicken.
Another way you can thicken soup is with a slurry. Once you have the stock and veggies to a boil, you can scoop up a coffee cup of hot liquid from the pot, add a couple of tablespoons of corn starch or flour and whisk until smooth and no lumps are left. Then pour it back into the soup and stir it in. The soup with thicken as it cooks.
And one more way you can do it is by adding some vegetable puree. You can use sweet potato, butternut squash, or pumpkin puree. This will give the liquid of the soup more body.
How long does homemade vegetable soup last in the fridge?
Homemade vegetable soup will last about 4 days in the fridge. If you are serving it to your daycare kids, remember that leftovers need to be used within 24 hours to be creditable.
If you want it to last longer, put it in a jar or container and go ahead and freeze it. I like doing this with soups I make for the kids because on busy weeks, I can set a jar in the fridge to thaw and have lunch the next day with little effort.
Vegetable soup for kids
All you do to make vegetable soup for kids is bring a pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon or so of salt, add a package of pasta and cook as long as the package says.
Next, drain the pasta in a colandar and leave it in there while you return the pot to the stove top. Add some butter, bacon fat, olive oil, or whatever you have or like to use. We used olive oil for this one. Chop up an onion and saute it in the fat. Sprinkle a little salt on the onion to make it sweat faster and soften better. Cook it a minute or two until it’s tender and translucent.
Next, add your vegetable stock. Add some herbs, salt, and pepper. Crush in a clove of garlic. Add your frozen or canned vegetables and bring it to a rolling boil. It’s done! If you use raw vegetables like potatoes or whatever you have on hand, you’ll need to boil it longer until the vegetables are tender.
This soup is so good, even grown ups are going to want it. With pasta it's a real kid pleaser too.
- 1 pkg pasta of your choice
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 c vegetable stock
- 2 pkg frozen vegetables of your choice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried herbs of your choice
- 2 T green powder if you desire
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Add 1 tsp salt and pasta
Cook according to package
While the pasta is in the drainer, combine the onion and oil in the pot
Sprinkle with salt
Cook until translucent
Add stock and frozen vegetables
Add herbs, green powder, garlic, pepper, and the rest of the salt.
Bring to a boil and cok until vegetables are at desired doneness.
If you want to change the soup, you can add any kind of meat. You can use beef or chicken stock instead of vegetable. You can add any vegetables that your kids like and any seasoning. I change it up all the time and do different veggies.
For this one, I did rosemary and sage, but thyme is great in soup and so is oregano. I used a leek in this soup because someone picked one from the garden, but I usually use a regular onion. You can also use scallions or shallots. Whatever you have on hand and whatever you like works. That’s the beauty of soup!
Once you start making it, you’ll learn the variations that your kids and your family like best. It’s going to be a staple in your menu like it is ours, because it’s healthy, easy, and oh so good!
Soup for toddlers
You might think soup is too messy for little ones. I have a couple of tricks to make it less messy. One thing I like to do is strain the soup and give the littler ones just the chunks.
If you want to serve them the juice too, you can serve it in straw bowls or make your own by giving them the bowl of soup and a regular straw. I like to cut them in half so they aren’t so long that the kids can’t reach into the bowl without pushing it around. They love to “slurp” the broth with a straw.
Some other favorite soups that my kids LOVE and have for generations of daycare kids are my world-famous taco soup, and this tortellini soup. I love the little belly-button-shaped pasta and so do the kids.
Another great soup with an activity is making friendship soup. This is a great idea to involve the families as well as you have them send a veggie for the soup with the kids. They get to feel like they are part of it.