With the return of gray and cold, soup is welcome. But how do you get kids to love this very fall and winter dish? All advice from our molecular chemist, Raphaël Haumont.
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The soup and the children, that’s a big story. When it arrives at the table, the children are a little less hungry… And it is often associated with a restriction: the child is often obliged to eat it. But it should be given in a positive context.
There are several tricks for this: divert attention, add crackers to the topping or industrial cheeses that children like. It might work, but you’re diluting the soup’s usefulness with processed foods.
On the contrary, we need to refocus on vegetables! Mixing and masking everything is not appropriate, the first test is the one performed on ratatouille and the children’s judgment is the same: “If we don’t identify what we eat, we suspect and reject”. “On the contrary, if the vegetables are presented individually, we recognize the colors and flavors.”
identify the vegetables
You should take a maximum of two or three vegetables, because more than three the palate will not recognize them. Here’s a few examples:
Do not dilute the flavors
Vegetables are often undercooked. Throwing vegetables in water, drowning out the flavors and then mixing it all together is not the best.
Vegetables contain free sugars, fry them in oil, which contains proteins (caseins) and causes plant Maillard reactions.
After five minutes a very light color appears, then it gets wet.
Vegetables should be cut properly, evenly. They will all cook the same, have the same texture and cook quickly without losing too much flavor.
Do not boil if you want to preserve the flavor. If your kids love raw grated carrots, they should love carrot soup.
Ingredients kids love
These ingredients can be used without masking the flavors. Keep a wild ingredient that suits the kids. Carrot and batter go very well with mimolette shavings, but also with erdamer, cumin gouda, etc.
Feel free to sprinkle them too. This brings in other textures and thus everyone customizes their soup.
With the green vegetables, make your own grilled peas, like Japanese.
Put the peas or chickpeas in the oven, with oil, butter, a few spices of choice or herbs (let the children choose) and put them in the oven for about 1 hour at 160 degrees.
This will dry out and make good toppings, like crackers. You can add some peanuts or a slice of grilled bacon to the yellow carrot and parsnip mixture.
Play on the textures too
Imagine peckable, eatable soups. Use agar-agar, this plant-based gelling agent that dissolves easily in liquids. It stays hot and becomes soft in the mouth at about 50 degrees.
It’s perfect for adding body to a soup and above all, lots of fun.
Count 2 g of agar for approximately 300 ml of broth.
Boil, then pour into fun shapes. Then you collect the figures you put on your plate, you’ll have recovery vegetable soup, leek, turnip, carrot, it’s all there.
You add vegetable broth, hot, warm, liquid, soft. It will melt slightly.
Things are finally happening in this bowl of soup!
On to your soup pictures!
Get the kids involved in making your soups. If they make them themselves it will be better.
Challenge them and send Raphael a photo of your prettiest soups: email@example.com
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