Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Veggie Soup

When thinking of kid friendly meals soup may not instantly come to mind, but this versatile food makes a great meal for the whole family. It’s a great way to pack in nutrients and hydration (which can be difficult in winter!), and is an easy way to get kids involved in cooking. Studies show that kids are much more likely to eat a new food if they’ve had a hand in picking out the ingredients and helping to prepare it, and this recipe encourages them to do just that. Have kids lead the way with this recipe, allowing them to choose between the options, and watch as they gobble up their finished product!

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Veggie Soup


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion OR shallot
  • 2 clove minced garlic
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp dried oregano OR thyme
  • 2 cups peeled and diced parsnips OR turnips
  • 8 cups chicken OR vegetable broth
  • 1 cup green beans OR broccoli (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 cup peas OR corn
  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta (let kids choose the shape)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach OR kale
  • Grated parmesan and/or fresh herbs (such as parsley or basil), for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion/shallot, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the oregano/thyme, parsnips/turnips and the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the green beans/broccoli and the peas/corn. Return the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat again and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pasta and greens and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle soup in to bowls and allow kids to sprinkle with parmesan and herbs.

Amanda Buthmann MS, RD is a pediatric and family nutritionist at Lara Metz Nutrition in NYC. For more information contact her at, or visit

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