veggie toddler - a young child learning how to walk and eat vegetables, not necessarily a wobbly vegetarian.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mud Soup

My kids won’t eat soup. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe they don’t like the fact that more than one ingredient are mixed up together in one bowl? Or perhaps it is because you have to eat it with a spoon? When my kids are sick I can sometimes get them to slurp down a few spoonfuls of chicken soup as long as they don’t detect anything but broth in their bowl. I’ve also tried pureed soups, but my kids think it’s too gross and oozing.

One day my daughter checked a book out of the library called Mud Soup by Judith Head. The book is about two kids sharing their lunch where one is eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the other mud soup. The story covers “International Day” at school where everyone brings a dish from their culture to share. Mud soup is on the potluck menu. By the end of the book, the boy with the peanut butter sandwich gets up the courage to taste the mud soup. To his surprise, he finds that it is not made with mud after all. No, mud soup is really black bean soup that looks like mud. And guess what? He likes it!

My daughter loved reading this book because she thought it was so funny to talk about actually eating mud soup. I mean, that’s what she makes in the sand at the beach, right? Who doesn’t love to pretend to eat mud soup? At the end of the book, there was a recipe for Mud Soup.

“Can we make it?” my daughter asked with bright eyes.

“Sure,” I said.

I soaked the beans overnight and the next day prepared Mud Soup with our dinner.

“Yuck, what is that?” my son and daughter cried in unison.

“Mud Soup!” I said. “Just like in the book.”

“Smells like beans,” my son said, unimpressed.

“Oh Mommy, thank you for making Mud Soup!” my daughter said, giving me a hug.

They both tasted the soup. Sure enough, my son thought it was the most disgusting thing he had ever tasted. Instead he ate up the bowl of black beans that I had extracted from the soup and put in a separate bowl in anticipation of exactly his reaction. My daughter, on the other hand, loved the soup. She even asked for more and ate the beans floating in the bottom of the cup.

Does my daughter now like black bean soup? All I know is that she wanted to eat what the girl in the book ate and exclaim, “Delicioso!” after every bite. That desire pushed her to taste a new food, and for that, I am happy. Maybe she will eat black bean soup the next time I make, it. Or maybe she won’t eat it again for 6 months or even a couple of years. Either way, she tasted it, liked it and so I know she will come back to it eventually.

Mud Soup (from Mud Soup by Judith Head)

2 cups black beans

3 tbps of olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

Wash the beans. Put them in a pot with 6 cups of water. Soak them for 4-8 hours. Drain them and pu them back into the pot. Add 6 cups of water. Add the oil, the onion, and the bay leaf. Simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender. Add more water if the water boils out. Add salt and stir.


Jen said...

That sounds like a great book! :) When my kids were younger they were pickier than they are now. (They are 5 and 7.) Even still, they really like soup broth, and since I know it is good for them, I don't mind if they don't eat the "chunks". ;) I have to say, they forgive me now if I let one or two pieces slip into their bowl/cup, and they have discovered that soup is pretty good even when there are chunks in it. :)

Evelyn Walsh said...

I love the moment where H says "oh thank you for making the mud soup" what a happy mommy moment! so sweet. and how crafty to have the beans set aside for W....

Audrey's mom said...

What a great book. We have a picky food book and plan to make a meal soon. Audrey has asked several times and I love building up the anticipation.