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Vegetable soup is a household favourite – easy to make and healthy. Making soup at home is easy and large quantities can be made and stored to last a couple of days if needed.
Making vegetable soup for babies to eat is not so different from veggie soup for adults, as long as the salt and sugar quantity is managed and there are no large chunks which could be a choking hazard.
What do you need to make vegetable soup for babies?
Here’s some handy tips on how to prepare, cook and serve your lovely veggie soup for your baby
Soup is relatively easy to make, you can chop it all up by hand or use a blender to get all the vegetables ready to be cooked. Using a blender will guarantee it will come out in a smooth puree which will be easy to eat but the chopping option can still make it easy enough to swallow but offer something to chew. Either option is fine but the results can be slightly different.
To heat up, just use an old fashioned pan or a slow cooker – the slow cooker is best if you want to chop it up by hand and let those chunks slowly mix with the water and preserver a lot of their flavour and nutrients.
In terms of what vegetables you can use, you have a lot of free rein. The list of ‘unhealthy’ vegetables is short. But, you should avoid things like bell peppers (can cause inflammation), celery (pesticides), aubergine (soaks up flavour) and peas (choking).
The list of the go-to vegetables for baby soup are:
- Butternut Squash (technically a fruit!)
- Potatoes/sweet potatoes
- Onion (for flavour)
- Garlic (flavour)
- Bay leaf
- Tomatoes (Tomato soup for babies here)
What adds the flavour?
Some people believe babies can taste more than adults, so making a veg soup that tastes nice as well as being healthy is super important. Here are some tips to make sure your soup tastes great:
- Salt (but watch the amount)
- Black pepper
- Herbs and spices
- A vegetable stock cube (we recommend this when the vegetables included aren’t overpowering like tomatoes)
- Making tomato soup
How to bulk it up
Sometimes, without a larger ingredient such as tomatoes, potatoes or carrots a veggie soup can be a little watery and flat – adding ingredients such as chickpeas or lentils can help add some bulk into the soup without making it unhealthy. Butternut squash is another way to bulk up soup.
How long it takes to prepare your baby soup is down to the equipment, really. A blender and a pan can take up 5 minutes, whereas a more complex soup can take up to 30 minutes with something like a slow cooker.
How big the chunks are also makes the preparation time longer – ingredients such as carrots and potatoes which retain their size need a little longer to soften up, but too long and they can get hard again. We don’t want anything that could cause a choking hazard.
Newborns and babies under three can be served the soup in a bowl and fed with a spoon. There would be nothing wrong, except the mess, to let them try and eat it themselves. Older babies over 12 months old can have some bread to dip and chew on.
The best thing about soup is that it can be chilled or frozen for later or put in a thermos for an on the go snack for parent and baby.