Superhero soup

One of the most common phrases I get told by parent’s about there children is that ‘they just won’t eat vegetables’.  My son was the same about vegetables, he would shake his head and just throw bowl’s of food onto the floor. I therefore had to get creative and started making food where the vegetables were hidden. With time he has got used to the taste of different vegetables and now will even eat most things willingly.

One of his favourites is ‘superhero soup’, its something I started making when he was a baby. In fact it was one the first recipes I used to introduce protein into his diet when he was being weaned. Dilan genuinely believes that this soup will make him run faster and jump higher (and he’s not entirely wrong!)

This soup is a quick lunchtime favourite, as it combines a number of vegetables and split red lentils, giving children lots of vitamins, iron, fibre and protein, all the things growing kids need. One good tip is to get children involved in the cooking process, get them to wash the vegetables before you peel them, get them to scoop out the lentils and let them turn the blender on to turn it in to a soup.

Finally as already mentioned its great for babies who are being weaned, as you can make a big batch and freeze it, just use low salt stock instead.

½ butternut squash peeled and roughly cut
2-3 sweet potato peeled and roughly cut
1 red onion, quartered
1 cup red split lentils
1-2 red peppers cut into big chunks
1 vegetable stock cube (low salt if cooking for babies)
grated cheese to serve.

Add all the ingredients to a thick bottom pan, cover with water so that all the vegetables are covered. Allow to boil and leave on gentle heat. Season with some ground pepper. When the vegetables are soft and the lentils are cooked (should take between 20-30mins), take it off the heat and allow it to cool a little.

Either use a hand held blender or a multipurpose blender to blend the vegetables until they are smooth. Add a little water if the consistency is too thick. (Be careful when blending the soup as the steam may cause hot soup to spray out everywhere, I often cover the top of the blender with a tea towel to allow the steam to escape.)

Serve with optional grated cheese and/or crème fraiche and wholemeal bread. Adding healthy fats like cheese to a meal, keeps you feeling fuller for longer. I have on occasion served this soup in a cup with a straw, because for some reason children like things with a straw in it ( it also makes eating it a lot less messy)

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