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You’ve heard the idea that kids will eat what they cook themselves and having kids help in the kitchen is a great way to get them to try new things. Well, I have stumbled across the realization that this is true! I am somewhat of a kitchen hog and have not been good about inviting my children to help me except for the obvious cookie or pancake making. We tend to be busy in the afternoon, like most families, and I usually have dinner prepped and ready to go way before they are off the school bus.

Last week my 10 year old informed me that we are not spending enough time together. Really? ” Ok, why don’t you help me with dinner and we can chat?” He agreed. It turned into him doing all of the dinner and me sitting on the bar stool and chatting with him. Turns out he got the kitchen hog gene. My plan that evening was chicken pasta soup and a chopped salad. I had made the salad prior so it was the soup that was left to be made. I chopped the onion, carrot and celery and left the rest to him.

Now you must know that my son is not a soup guy. Too bad for him because his mom is soup crazy. I can really see owning a little soup cart somewhere and dishing out steaming bowls of goodness for hungry customers. I love all soups. I love the idea of soup and all the nutrition and flavor you can pack into one bowl. Soup is the ONLY reason I tolerate winter. Whenever we have soup for dinner, he has a few bites and then reverts to a peanut butter sandwich. He just doesn’t get it. Well that evening after carefully simmering vegetables, tasting the difference between a raw carrot and a caramelized one, building his soup and adjusting the seasonings himself, he got it!  He said ,” Wow Mom, this is really good!” That night he ate his whole bowl and didn’t go to the cabinet for peanut butter once. Amazing.

Here is the recipe for Chicken Pasta Soup. My kiddo added and adjusted the seasonings himself and didn’t measure, so I’ll try to approximate what went on.

Chicken Pasta Soup

serves 8

Chicken from one rotisserie chicken, chopped into small pieces (save the carcass for roast chicken stock)

1/2 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp dried basil

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or not, it really doesn’t matter)

1/4 cup soup pasta per person

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onions. Cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and turn the heat down to medium low. Stir occasionally for about 25 minutes. Add the dried spices and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine chicken and vegetable stock and heat on low. (no use adding cold stock to the soup) Add the stock and peas. Stir all together over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 minutes and add the chopped chicken. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.

Boil water and add soup pasta for the time instructed on the packaging. You can use any type of pasta you wish. You only want to cook pasta for the number of servings you need. Any leftover soup will be saved without pasta being added because the pasta will absorb all of the liquid. Divide pasta between the soup bowls and ladle the soup over top.

Enjoy!