Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Soup Day

Summary: On a cold, snowy day, a young girl and her mother shop to buy ingredients for vegetable soup. At home, they work together—step by step—to prepare the meal. While the soup is cooking, they spend the time playing games and reading. Before long, Daddy's home and the family sits down to enjoy a home made dinner. This book celebrates the importance of making a nutritious meal and sharing in the process. -- Henry Holt

SOUP DAY by Melissa Iwai is a very cute picture book for youngsters. This book tells the story of a young girl who with the help of her mother makes a healthy soup on a snowy day. They shop together for the best vegetables and then they make the soup step-by-step. While the soup is cooking, they play together and wait for Daddy to come home.

SOUP DAY is filled with bright, colorful illustrations and perfect for little ones. There are lots of descriptions of the vegetables using the various colors as well as shapes -- yellow onion squares, orange carrot circles, etc.; and I dare anyone to read this book and not want a bowl of hot soup!

As a mother, I enjoyed the story and the pictures, but I really appreciated the message -- how much fun a child and parent can have working together to make something. I also loved that the recipe for the soup was included on the last page of the book, and that it was one that Booking Son could eat even with his food allergies. I'm encouraging my children to eat healthier, and I thought this book might be a great way to get my son to eat his veggies.

Booking Son thought this book was a little young for him, but he enjoyed it just the same. When I asked him if he wanted to make (and eat) some vegetable soup, he jumped at the chance. Since our forecast was calling for snow the next day, we thought it would be the perfect time to make Snowy Day Vegetable Soup. So Booking Son and I headed to the grocery store (along with everyone else) and picked out our vegetables.

After the snow storm our schools had a two hour delay, so Booking Son and I decided to start the soup in the morning before school -- that way it would be ready for his lunch. I gave Booking Son his own child-safe knife and allowed him to work on the mushrooms and zucchini. He had a blast cutting and adding everything to the pot, but he especially enjoyed getting to pick the type of pasta (he eventually went with alphabets but was also leaning towards the pastina.)

Much to my amazement, Booking Son loved the soup! He ate an entire bowl (except for the potatoes -- how strange is that?) I know that helping to make the soup contributed to his desire to eat and like it, and I wish I had the time and patience to let him cook more often!

Snowy Day Vegetable Soup

Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
kosher salt
6 cups chicken, vegetable, or beef stock
2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 cup carrots, sliced into rounds
2 cups zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 ounces dried pasta of choice
1/4 cup packed chopped parsley leaves

1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add diced onions, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt to pot. Saute until onions are soft and translucent.

2. Add stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add potatoes, carrot rounds, zucchini, and mushrooms to pot. Add pepper, thyme, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until vegetables are fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt to water. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook to al dente doneness according to package instructions. Drain and add to vegetable soup just before serving.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish soup with chopped parsley.

Thanks to Media Masters for sending me a copy of this picture book.

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bermudaonion said...

I love soup and even eat in the summer. This book sounds fantastic. It has a great message and I agree, kids are more likely to try a new food if they help prepare it.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I too agree that helping prepare makes a kid much more interested in the food. And what a cute picture on the cover of that book!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think I would love this book as well! I almost never make soup in the summer, but in the winter, it is a favorite exercise. I like making soup an EVENT, something that takes all day. It makes me feel all happy and warm inside!

Beth F said...

What a fantastic book. And yes, when kids help put the meal together they are way more interested in eating it.

I love the message and I like the soup.

And I'm with Kathy, I could eat soup every day -- summer and winter.

Ann Summerville said...

Cute story.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Awww. Booking Son is awesome! I will have to make this with my daughter, who helped me layer a lasagna the other day and then ate it with a huge smile on her face :)

Peaceful Reader said...

What a great idea for a book and, since I love soup, wish I had thought to write a kid's book about it! LOL. Snowy days are perfect for a good veggie soup and it sounds like you had a nice shared moment cooking it together.

Shelly B said...

We love soup at our house and would enjoy this one, I'm sure. I like books for children that include recipes because it allows for exactly what you did...time together, learning a skill, and having fun. Glad to hear it was a hit!

Suko said...

I love the idea of soups for specific types of weather. Wonderful recipe--I will need to try it out. :)