Rainbow Soup

What do you feed to a group of hungry Brownie Scouts to kick off a meeting about healthy choices?  Rainbow soup of course!  This is a quick fun soup to put together with kids of all ages.  Shelling peas is an easy project for little hands, while older ones can practice their budding knife skills on asparagus stalks.  It’s full of vibrant colors, enticing kids to eat across the spectrum.   As the abundance of summer produce sets in, add or substitute ingredients as you please.  Fresh herbs from the market or your garden are an easy interchangeable garnish.  My only regret is not having made a triple batch.   The girls practically licked the pot clean!

Ingredients:

  • 2 red tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 8 oz small pasta such as orzo
  • 2 Shallots chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups good quality chicken broth
  • 2 carrots – peeled, cut in half lengthwise and cut into ¼” coins
  • 1 bunch asparagus – tough ends snapped off, and cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 small yellow squash – cut into small slices
  • 1 cup freshly shelled peas
  • 1 cup canned hominy – drained
  • 1 cup shredded chicken (optional)
  • 1 handful basil, mint or cilantro – roughly chopped

Method:

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil, and prepare a bowl of very cold ice water on the side. Submerge the tomatoes in the boiling water for approximately 15-30 second, quickly remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath. Slip off tomato skins and discard. (If skins are not easily removed, return to hot water for a few more seconds to loosen.) Chop tomatoes into rough squares.

Add the pasta to the same pot of boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain and reserve pasta.

Empty and dry the pot.  Heat the olive oil shimmering. Add the shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes until they are soft but not brown. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add carrots, and simmer for 5 minutes until just tender. Add all remaining vegetables and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.   Add cooked pasta and shredded chicken if using.   If there is not enough broth, add more or thin with water.  Add salt to taste.

Ladle into bowls, making sure to get the full spectrum in each, and top with a small sprinkle of fresh herbs.

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