I'm married to a picky eater, which makes cooking a challenge. I adjust recipes so we both can enjoy them, without too much compromise.
Do You Live With Picky Eaters Who Refuse to Their Vegetables?
Are you finding it challenging to come up with hearty meals for picky eaters? Does it seem nearly impossible to make things that aren't only healthy but also bursting with flavor? I'm about to show you a recipe loaded with colorful vegetables that don't leave you still feeling hungry. Finding healthy recipes, my husband and I both enjoy is a constant battle. The flavor must overshadow the taste of the vegetables if I expect him to eat it.
My husband eats this soup for lunch and brags to his coworkers how he has “found a way to eat his vegetables," even mushrooms! I've never been able to slip mushrooms into any recipe without him picking them out, so this is a win-win, and I love it, too. Whenever I cook with vegetables, I tweak the recipe to make it very flavorful, and he doesn't notice he's eating them!
My Vision for This Recipe
I had a vision of a vegetable/chicken soup combo to use as a weekly meal prep for our lunches, a grab and go of sorts. I scoured the web looking through numerous recipes for chicken and vegetable soup different from my mother and grandmother's soups.
I found the usual recipes using peas, carrots, and celery with chicken, which isn't what I envisioned. I wanted it to have lots of “nontraditional” vegetables, as well as some healthy green, like kale or spinach. I also wanted to use all organic vegetables and chicken bone broth for the base, rather than the common stock or salty bouillon. Lastly, I wanted to include bacon, one of our favorite foods, which helps mask the vegetable taste.
Non-Traditional and Healthy Chicken and Vegetable Soup
I stumbled upon a ketogenic/Atkins diet soup recipe that looked appealing and close to what I envisioned, so I decided to try it. It had many of the nontraditional soup vegetables I'd thought about, and even included a little bit of bacon! My husband tried it, and to my surprise, said he could see himself eating something like it if I could make it flavorful and filling!
I went to work reforming this “keto-diet” soup recipe. I used many of the same ingredients but in different quantities. I increased the bacon and substituted the water and chicken stock with mostly organic chicken bone broth. Each week I made this recipe, I tweaked something different—until finally, I found the perfect combination that suited his taste buds.
Preparation and Cooking Time
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 30 min
(10-12) 12-16oz servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices bacon (plain, not maple, smoked or other), chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon (depending on your taste) fresh garlic, minced
- 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 8 ounces white or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 32 ounces organic chicken bone broth, start with 32 and add more at the end if the soup is too dense
- 6-8 cups water, start with 6, add more if needed
- 1 head cauliflower (any color), chopped
- 1 large or 2 small turnips, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3-4 large chicken breasts, boiled and diced into cubes
- 1 large or 2 small yellow squash (skins on), sliced and quartered
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen green beans,, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 12-16 ounces Swiss chard or collard greens, chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large stockpot (I use two pots because this often yields more than just one can hold depending on the size and amount of my vegetables), add the water, bone broth, and the chicken breasts (leave them whole). Boil until the breasts are cooked thoroughly, about 20-30 minutes. You will get excellent health benefits as well as a richer flavor from the bone broth.
- While the chicken is boiling, add the olive oil and bacon to a medium skillet and saute' over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms to the oil and bacon. Saute' together for 15 minutes or until bacon is cooked, but not overly crispy or burnt. Add this mixture to the pot; do not drain.
- As the chicken and above ingredients are cooking, chop and add the cauliflower and turnips to the boiling water and broth.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, removed the breasts, cut into cubes and return to the pot to continue simmering while chopping the remaining vegetables.
- Add the squash, green beans, and swiss chard or collard greens to the pot and simmer together for 15 minutes and add sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the red wine vinegar.
- Stir in the fresh basil, remove from heat, and spoon into Mason jars, or your preferred storage containers, using a ladle. Allow to partially cool, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator.
This Recipe Has Been a Total Hit
When we take this soup to work, everyone loves the aroma and has to know what's in it, if they can try it, and whether they can have the recipe. One of the best things about this recipe is how amazing it makes your kitchen smell during the preparation and for hours afterward! Not only do I meal-prep almost every week with this, but I also take it to sick or post-surgery friends and family, too, and it goes down quite well and is easy on the stomach.
Another Recipe My Picky-Eater Husband Loves!
- How to Cook a Whole Seasoned Chicken in the Instant Pot
Take the guesswork out of perfecting an oven-roasted chicken that either comes out dry, undercooked, overcooked or simply takes too long. The Instant Pot is the perfect solution for a fast and juicy whole chicken in under an hour.
© 2018 Debra Roberts
Jennifer @coffeeandcreativity on April 12, 2019:
This looks really good. Perfect for a rainy day!
Erica (The Prepping Wife) on April 08, 2019:
I love it when I can find a recipe that includes veggies and my husband will eat them! That struggle is a very real thing. I’ll have to give this a try and see if my husband approves it.
Live Learn Better on April 08, 2019:
I am lover of soups and this vegetable chicken soap is a to-die for anyday.
Thank you for sharing the recipe.
Thuy on April 08, 2019:
I definitely want to try this recipe out, I love all types of soups and trying something new so this is right up my alley
The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co. on April 08, 2019:
This recipe sounds delicious! Everything is greatly improved by the addition of extra bacon. I look forward to trying it out.
Subhashish Roy on April 08, 2019:
I love the green in the soup and this recipe is so very different. Would actually motivate my wife to prepare this on the weekend.
Camille on April 08, 2019:
Thanks foe this well written amd easy to follow recipe. Will definitely try this on weekend.
Bianca on April 08, 2019:
This looks really delicious! I love making soup and storing them. Life can be so busy sometimes that it helps to have something delicious and healthy readily available.
Lyosha on April 07, 2019:
Sounds delicious and easy to make. I love veggies soups and this one sounds delicious (and nothing like crap I used to eat when i was little)
Elease on April 07, 2019:
Yummy! I love that you have to hide vegetables for your husband kind of like you do for little kids. Some people don't change! ha!
Vincent Monaco on April 06, 2019:
Our battle is not with each other, but with our kids. Who likes one thing and who something else. We will try it soon.
Snehal on April 06, 2019:
I was kind of confused about which dish of chicken to cook tomorrow. Wanted to try something different. Definitely going to try this recipe.
Scott DeNicola on April 05, 2019:
You had me at bacon. I like this twist on vegetable chicken soup. I happen to be a fan of vegetables so I'm giving this a try. Thanks for sharing.
Debra Roberts (author) from Ohio on April 05, 2019:
Oh I know...my husband hates most veggies, but he loves this soup! You can also use zucchini in place of the squash. I go crazy on the bacon...it's what gives it the robust flavor!
Melody Dunithan from Indiana on April 05, 2019:
This is an intriguing recipe. I would not expect squash and cauliflower to be in chicken/vegetable soup let alone bacon. I'll need to try this on for sure. Thanks for sharing your efforts in tweaking the recipe.
Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on November 18, 2018:
Being Jewish, I think I make a mean chicken soup. However, this recipe sounds like it could add some things to my own recipe. I also am not a vegetable fan so the flavor aspect is a big plus. Given you are looking for something filling, the only thing I might suggest would be to add matzo balls! Thanks for the recipe.
Debra Roberts (author) from Ohio on October 16, 2018:
Let me know if you try it and what you think! We are totally hooked!
RTalloni on October 15, 2018:
A smart meal on every level, and the recipe looks yum. Thanks for sharing your souped up soup.