I love cooking with my kids, and love it even more when I can jam as many learning opportunities as possible into our kitchen time. Inspired by the book, “Eating the Alphabet” by Lois Ehlert (a GREAT book to introduce your child to different produce), I wanted to share a recipe for quick and easy alphabet soup.

32 oz. V8 juice (Make sure to buy the original, and not a fruit blend! You could also use the low-sodium V8.)

1 c. beef broth or stock (You could use a vegetable stock if you wanted to go vegetarian.)

Vegetables – ( I leave this option open, because you have several paths to take here.)

Option 1: 5-6 large carrots, diced, 3-4 stalks of celery diced, 1-2 potatoes diced (any vegetables your kids like will work…bell peppers, corn, fresh green beans…) If you use fresh vegetables, you will want to dice them small, and will need to simmer your soup for a longer amount of time, to ensure the vegetables are tender.

Option 2: 1 can of green beans, 1 can of diced carrots, 1 can of diced tomatoes (Again, you can use what your family likes and/or what you have on hand. I made a similar soup with my kindergarten classes, and had each child bring a can of vegetables. We used everything from green beans to kidney beans…from corn to peas..and it tasted great!)

Option 3: Use a bag of frozen mixed veggies (while this is the least ideal of the three, it would definitely work!)

2 cups of alphabet pasta (WinCo sells bags of alphabet pasta in the Mexican foods section for get this..a quarter! I’ve personally tried it, and it is great!)

Combine the juice and broth in a large pot. Add vegetables, and simmer until vegetable are tender. Add your pasta when you are almost ready to serve. (The alphabet pasta, especially if you do use the “El Guapo” brand from WinCo is very small, and cooks up very quickly!)

While this isn’t a gourmet soup by any means, it is a quick and easy soup with lots of nutritional value for your kids (and educational value too!) My daughter loves to inspect her spoon and tell us all the letters she finds.

A few other quick and easy ideas to eat the alphabet are:

Alpha-Bits cereal (which you could turn into cereal treats! Just use the standard Rice Krispy treat recipe!)

Alphabet shaped crackers (which I have also seen at WinCo in a large plastic jar.)

If you look around, many stores now sell ABC cookie cutters. It would be fun to do a batch of sugar cookies, and create all of the letters, spell your child’s name, family names, etc.

Have fun cooking!