I have no idea how this happened, but broccoli has always been one of Linden’s favorite vegetables. She’ll eat it roasted, steamed, and even raw, and almost always asks for seconds when we have it at dinner. It’s one of our go-tos when we eat at a Japanese or Chinese restaurant (along with edamame). She also loves peas, so the idea of combining the two into a quick soup seemed like a good idea. (The list of the green vegetables that she doesn’t care for is way longer and I will spare you that in detail other than to say that it includes lettuce, any cooked green, green beans, and green peppers…)
I try not to make too much of which foods are her favorites and which she doesn’t like, though, and I incorporate both in our meals. I’ve found that she sometimes surprises us with what she wants to eat, so by not limiting her options, I am hopeful that I am preventing any extreme pickiness from taking hold. If she doesn’t want to eat something that’s on the table for dinner, she doesn’t have to. That’s her choice and I do my best not to take it personally and not to make too big of a deal about it. Which is to say that even though she loves broccoli and she loves peas, I knew that there was a 50/50 shot that she’d taste this soup since you can’t tell what’s in it just by looking at it.
This soup was my dinner solution on a recent Monday night when my husband was out of town and I hadn’t thought very far ahead about L and I were going to eat that night. I pulled the ingredients out after I picked L up at preschool and had it on the table in about 15 minutes. (15 minutes!) Linden was a little bit skeptical at first, and ate a lot of cheese and crackers while she watched me dig in, but once I showed her how to crumble some crackers into the soup, she gave it a try. She didn’t finish her whole cup, but she tasted it, so to me, it was a success.
The soup is comforting—it’s creamy without any cream or butter from the inclusion of potatoes—and it’s slightly sweet from the peas. It’s also filled with fiber and protein, making it a comforting, yet light dinner option for the adults in the family. It’s also thick enough to serve it up in a reusable pouch if that works better for your kiddo.
Mama and Me Broccoli Pea Soup
Serves one toddler and one mama (or daddy). Double it to make a batch for the whole family.
2 cups low- or no-salt added chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup potato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (skin on)
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen peas
1. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat in a medium or small pot. Add the potatoes and simmer until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add the broccoli and peas, stir to combine, and simmer until broccoli is soft, about 4 minutes. Puree until very smooth in a blender or with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Use one cup cooked white beans instead of the potato for more protein and fiber.
Top with a swirl of toasted sesame oil instead of Parmesan.
Stir 1/4-cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella into the soup for a cheesier version.