Cooking With Kids: Homemade Vegetable Soup with Alphabet Pasta

ABC's and veggies too!

Delicious alphabet vegetable beef soup!
Delicious alphabet vegetable beef soup! | Source

Photo Guide for Vegetable Soup

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chop vegetables and place in a bowl for the kids to put into the pot.Grace and Alex are having fun putting the vegetables in the pot.Adding the diced tomatoes.Allow the vegetables to simmer until tender.Grace is searching for all of the letters in her name!
Chop vegetables and place in a bowl for the kids to put into the pot.
Chop vegetables and place in a bowl for the kids to put into the pot. | Source
Grace and Alex are having fun putting the vegetables in the pot.
Grace and Alex are having fun putting the vegetables in the pot. | Source
Adding the diced tomatoes.
Adding the diced tomatoes. | Source
Allow the vegetables to simmer until tender.
Allow the vegetables to simmer until tender. | Source
Grace is searching for all of the letters in her name!
Grace is searching for all of the letters in her name! | Source

Kids Cook Monday

Teaching our children the importance of eating vegetables is often a challenge. Most families are able to get their kids to eat the typical veggies like carrots or green beans or even broccoli. But what if you haven't exposed your children to more unusual vegetables like swiss chard or kale? How do you convince your child to give them a try? We attempted to conquer this by making alphabet vegetable soup. Not only is this soup made with some unusual veggies, but we added alphabet pasta to it to make it even more fun!

How would you rate this recipe?

5 stars from 1 rating of Alphabet Vegetable Soup

Ingredients for Vegetable Soup

  • 1 beef shank, This is only if you are making vegetable beef soup.
  • 1 32 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • various amounts assorted vegetables, To create an alphabet vegetable soup, use the table at the bottom as a resource for your veggies!
  • salt and pepper to taste
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Select a variety of vegetables for your soup.Grace and Alex explore an alphabet garden.
Select a variety of vegetables for your soup.
Select a variety of vegetables for your soup. | Source
Grace and Alex explore an alphabet garden.
Grace and Alex explore an alphabet garden. | Source

Pasta Cooking Hint

Since the alphabet pasta is very tiny, I recommend cooking it separate from the soup. It may seem more logical to add it to the soup broth, but I find that doing that makes the pasta very mushy. If you like your pasta a little more al dente, then cook it ahead of time and just add it in right before serving.

Instructions for Vegetable Soup

  1. If you are making vegetable beef soup you will want to start with browning the beef shank on each side in about two tablespoons of Olive Oil. Then remove from pot. If you are not adding the beef, simply skip to the next step.
  2. Dice all vegetables that you are using and place them in a bowl. Choose the vegetables that you know your family enjoys or add a few that you want to give a try.
  3. Sautee in the Olive Oil any leeks or onions that you plan to add. Once they have softened, add the remaining vegetables, the diced tomatoes and fill the pot with about six more cups of water or beef broth.
  4. Allow the vegetables to cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes. You want the veggies to be tender but not mushy.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the alphabet pasta. It usually only takes about four minutes to cook.
  6. Once the vegetables are softened, remove from heat and dish into bowls. Add the alphabet pasta to each bowl. We also like to add some Parmesan cheese to our vegetable soup.

Reference Guide to Vegetables for Each Letter

Letter of the Alphabet
Vegetables
A
asparagus, artichokes, arugula
B
brussel sprouts, broccoli, bok choy
C
celery, carrots, corn
D
daikon
E
eggplant, endive
F
fennel
G
green peas
H
hearts of palm
I
ice berg lettuce
J
jicama
K
kale
L
leeks
M
Mustard greens, mushrooms (technically fungi)
N
Napa cabbage
O
onion, okra
P
parsnips, potatoes
Q
no veggies that start with q :(
R
red peppers, radichio
S
swiss chard, squash
T
turnips, tomatoes
U
ulluco
V
velvet bean
W
watercress
X
xerophyte
Y
yams, yellow squash
Z
zucchini

Alphabet Fun

While enjoying your delicious homemade soup, encourage your children to identify the letters that they find as they are eating. They can even try to spell some words out depending on the ability level of your kids. And well if you really want to encourage your kids to play with their food, why not have a challenge as to who can create the most words or who can find the words the fastest. Sometimes it's good to play with your food!

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Comments 18 comments

Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Cara,

What a great way to teach children to cook, and to learn about lots of healthy vegetables!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

WOW! Who knew there would be a vegetable for every letter of the alphabet EXCEPT 'Q'? What a cool table and great recipe! Thanks for sharing. :) Rated it up. or interesting / useful rather. :)

I like the colorful photos in this hub, too. :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Daisy! I appreciate your comments and visit.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I know. There is a fruit (quince) for q but no veggie! Glad you liked it.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

I was thinking quinoa was considered a vegetable and found a couple references about it such as this one from NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story...

While many think of quinoa as a grain, the yellowish pods are actually the seed of a plant called chenopodium quinoa, native to Peru and related to beets, chard and spinach. The plant resembles spinach, but with 3- to 9-foot stalks that take on a magenta hue. The large seed heads make up nearly half the plant and vary in color: red, purple, pink and yellow.

And this: http://daytips.com/an-introduction-to-the-superfoo...

Quinoa is often called a grain and is usually cataloged in the grain section of shops. Spinach and chard are in the same plant group. You can eat the leaves as well as the seeds. Because the quinoa leaves do not stay fresh for long you can only get them where the quinoa is grown.

So there you have it - Q for Quinoa. (which I really like).

Back to the hub - would you believe I only had kale for the very first time this spring? I loved it. Quincy - eh, so-so. Not a big fan of chard, though.By the way, loved the chart.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I always enjoy your hub posts on this topic. I am a great fan of vegetable soup. Adding the alphabet pasta is a great way to get kids to enjoy the meal.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I love your reference guide! Great hub.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

@Danette-that is great that you did research and found evidence that Quino is a vegetable related to beets, etc. :) Wow-the whole alphabet can be represented by vegetables now, haha. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure Cara will also appreciate the work you did to add to this hub. :)


mts1098 profile image

mts1098 4 years ago from InsideTheManCave

Boy did you just bring back some memories...I cannot believe there are so many veggies in the table (a clever idea by the way) but the soup is a great idea to get the kids to eat veggies...great job here...cheers


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Awesome! Quinoa it is! I will go back and add that one, thanks for your info. We had kale in the soup and I just told the kids it was spinach since they love spinach. Glad you liked the chart!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Awww, thanks teaches. We enjoy creating them that's for sure! They had so much fun trying to spell out words. Glad you came by to read and comment.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Rose, I appreciate your visit as always!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Of course I appreciate it! :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

So glad that it brought back memories mts1098. We love our veggies in our house but it's always great to come up with some ways to change it up. Thanks for stopping by.


ChaplinSpeaks profile image

ChaplinSpeaks 4 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

Great hub, and I love the A-Z vegetable chart. It reminds me of a kids picture book by Lois Ehlert called Eating the Alphabet. Good advice for getting the kids to try the unusual vegetables. Thanks for sharing!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

We love the book eating the alphabet! It is actually what got me thinking about this hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

very cute idea, cardelean! voted useful and if there was a "fun" vote, you'd get that too! :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks so much kitttythedreamer! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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