Simplest soup recipe? Start two pots on the stove. In one, put water for boiling pasta. In the other, a box of broth, a smashed garlic clove, a whole green onion or a half of a yellow onion and a whole carrot and maybe a spring of parsley, a stem of celery. By now the pasta water is boiling. Let the soup simmer while you cook the pasta. Then drain the pasta, pull the vegetables out of the broth and cut them up, or add different vegetables. Serve the noodles with the hot broth on top. Call it feel-better soup.
Kids in the kitchen? Try making homemade pasta for the soup, or bread to go alongside. My kids' favorite is these homestyle potato rolls that I end up making with whole wheat pastry flour and baking as pull apart bread on a cookie sheet.
Pull out those dried split peas and cook them up in water with a pinch of cumin seed, (maybe a chipotle chile?) a handful of rice, some salt. An hour later, you're ready to add some chopped cilantro and green onion and call it lunch. A more detailed explanation on PETA's website. Learn more ideas for yummy soups and have some fun in class January 12 at the Palo Alto Adult School.
Need some inspiration for 2016 on new ways to prepare vegetables that you and your family will love? I'm teaching a lunchtime class on Mondays beginning January 11 in my home.
Wishing you joy in food for the holiday season.
PS I'm working on my kids' summer cooking camp schedule now. Right now the dates for the four one-week sessions are June 20, and July 11, 18, and 25.