I’m always trying to get my son to eat soup as it’s so easy to cram loads of veggies in – plus it’s straightforward to batch cook and freezes well. Alas, he rarely shows any interest if my husband or I make it for him but, in typical toddler fashion, he will happily eat soup his grandparents give him.
This red pepper and kidney bean soup proved a particular hit on a recent visit – among both the children and the adults. So much so that I actually attempted it when I got home, and it wasn’t wholeheartedly rejected… It’s got a lovely smokey flavour and contains a whopping four different types of veg. I particularly like the fact it has got kidney beans in, an easy and low cost way to add a good dose of protein.
*Breaking news 2021*
OK, that might be slightly over the top. But I’m reviewing this post a couple of years down the line and now have two children who happily eat soup – including an opinionated 2 year old (well, she only eats it off the end of toast or a bread stick whilst chanting ‘dip and eat, dip and eat’ but it still counts). My son will now eat a whole bowl and tip it up to drink the last bit, something i couldn’t have envisaged a few years ago. Soup is really such a quick and easy lunch option for kids, and particularly for children with CMPA and other food allergies as it is so adaptable and easy to make dairy free. So, persevere!
For babies: I wouldn’t give too much of this to children under one because the addition of bacon means the salt content is relatively high. You could always cut the amount of bacon in there though, and soup works well for baby-led weaning served with some fingers of toast or pitta for dipping.
Ingredients and method:
This makes around four portions, plus some leftovers for freezing.
- Rapeseed or olive oil, for frying
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
- 1 onion, skin removed and chopped
- 4 rashers of unsmoked bacon, chopped
- 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 900ml low salt, gluten free vegetable stock (e.g. by Kallo)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Optional chilli powder
- Salt and Pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the the chopped onions, peppers and bacon for 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Then simply add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 30 minutes, until the peppers and onions are soft. Remove the bay leaf, liquidise using a food processor or stick blender, and season to taste.