Disclosure: This post has been compensated in connection with my appointment as an ambassador in the Ragú® Mom’s the Word on Dinner Program. Visit http://www.facebook.com/ragusauce to join the conversation.
I am often looking for ways to get my kids to try different foods. If you were to ask the little ones on any given night what they want for dinner, the answer is sure to be pasta ... or cheese sandwiches, but most likely, pasta.
So when Miss M saw me in the kitchen tonight cooking dinner, the conversation went a little like this:
M: "What are you making us for dinner?"
M: "But I don't like soup"
Me: "You like pasta, sausages and pasta sauce though right?"
M: "Yummy, but I don't like soup".
Me: "You'll like this one".
She didn't quite believe me and stomped outside to report to her brother that I was making soup for dinner. Who proceeded to announce his dislike for this to the neighborhood by screaming "Yuck". Score 1, ME! Neighborhood parents, looks like you'll just have to continue feeding your own kids because they won't want to come here now.
So when the soup was ready, here's what I do to keep the little ones happy. I ladle out the pasta, sausages and just a little of the soup into bowls for the twins - in the small amount of liquid that I put in their bowl (not pictured below, that is my bowl) there is sure to be a little of the veggies. And shh, don't tell them but I may hide a little spinach or tomato under a piece of pasta or sausage. Then I top it with parmesan. This way I only have to cook one meal, but everyone is happy.
So my thoughts on making this soup is I wanted to include as many of the ingredients as possible that I would normally use to make a pasta dish, but give it a new twist, make it a little fun, and have the kids try something new.
- 3 Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausages
- 2 cups Pasta - I used Gigli Pasta (which I found at World Market)
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock
- 4 cups Water
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Zucchini - sliced
- 1 cup Mushrooms - sliced
- 2 cups Baby Spinach - stalks cut off
- 2 cups Mini Heirloom Tomatoes - quartered (I used the deep red/green ones with green centers)
- 1 Yellow Onion - diced
- 1/2 cup Ragú® Sauce (mushroom)
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 1 tsp Garlic - crushed
- 1 tsp dried Thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground Oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground Ginger
- 4 Basil leaves - roughly chopped
- Parmesan Cheese - freshly shaved
- pinch salt and pepper
Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger. Add in the sausage, vegetable stock, red wine, tomatoes and pasta sauce. Bring to the boil, stir, then turn down the heat while you add in the next lot of ingredients. Toss in the mushrooms, zucchini, thyme, oregano and water. Bring back to the boil. Once boiling, add the pasta. Boil for one minute less than the time indicated on the packet. Stir in the spinach and add a dash of salt and pepper, continue stirring for about a minute.
Ladle into soup bowls. Top with freshly chopped basil and shaved parmesan. Serve with warm bread.
I am one of the Ragú® Mom’s the Word on Dinner ambassadors. Moms the Word on Dinner is for real moms who want to have real conversations about what REALLY goes on at dinnertime. Whether it is getting the kids to eat veggies, table manners, funny moments, or chaos. We would love you to come by and join the conversation and tell us how dinnertime really goes in your house.