Makes 6 servings
1 cup grated sharp reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion
2 gloves garlic
32 ounces reduced-sodium vegetable broth
16 ounces frozen broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Making your own soup is a great way to blend lots of healthy vegetables into your meal—and when you add cheese, well, make way for the kids. In this recipe, which uses broccoli, you can feel good about using frozen: It’s picked and frozen at its peak of freshness and is every bit as healthy as fresh. Serve this soup with some whole grain bread, or ladle it over a baked potato.
Parent & Child: Grate the cheese.
Child: Use a plastic or dinner knife to cut 2 tablespoons butter off a stick of butter. (Use the marks on the side of the wrapper to know how much to cut.) Unwrap the butter and put it in a large stockpot.
Parent: Melt the butter over medium heat.
Parent: Slice the ends off of the onion and garlic, and then make a deep slit in the skin of each, from top to bottom, to make them easier to peel.
Child: Peel the papery skin off of the onion and garlic. Careful, don’t touch your eyes until you’ve washed your hands!
Parent: Chop the onion (unless you have a child-safe food chopper).
Parent & Child: Press the garlic through a garlic press. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, scraping the garlic off the press with the dull side of a knife.
Parent & Child: Sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
Child: Be sure to tell your parent when you can see through the onions. That means they are ready for the next step.
Child: Pour the broth, then the broccoli, into the pot, and stir. Measure the thyme and stir that into the pot, too.
Parent: Bring the soup to a boil. Simmer it for about 5 minutes until the broccoli is very tender, stirring occasionally. (You can remove one broccoli floret, run it under cold water, and taste it with your child to see if it is tender; or, see if a fork slips easily into the stem.)
Parent & Child: Using a handheld immersion blender or standing blender, puree the soup. Return it to the pot (if using a standing blender).
Child: Stir in the cheese until it is fully melted, about one minute.
Parent: Remove soup from heat and serve immediately.