Monday, March 18, 2013

Freedom Soup

My latest picture book, Freedom Soup, is out on submission. (fingers crossed!) Here's a tid bit of what the story is about:

Every New Year’s Day, Belle has eaten Freedom Soup with her family. But this New Year’s is different from any other.  This year, she gets to help her grandmother make the soup. How hard can it be? Just toss in a few vegetables and meat in some water, right? Not quite. Belle soon learns that making the soup involves a dash of history, a sprinkle of struggle, and a whole lotta’ pride. And that makes the soup taste better than it ever had before!

I was first introduced to Freedom Soup by my grandmother-in-law, affectionately known as  Gran. As she taught me the recipe, she passed down the oral history of this soup, which I now carry on in my own kitchen every New Year’s Day.

Below I've provided a very basic recipe:

Simple Recipe for Kid-Friendly Freedom Soup:

Kid alert: Be sure to make this recipe with an adult. Let the adults do all of the chopping.

·         1 pound of meat (beef or chicken)
·         1 pack frozen squash (Ti gran would whack me with a stick if she saw this, but trust me it works!)
·         2 boxes of low sodium chicken broth
·         2 carrots, chopped
·         2 celery stalks, chopped
·         2 potatoes, chopped
·         1 ½ cups of your favorite pasta
·         Spices: salt, pepper, garlic (as needed for taste)

This is a super-easy way of making a kid-approved version of Freedom Soup. My three year old son even likes it, and he doesn't eat much of anything. (except for the occasional crayon!) 

Start by pouring two tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot. Spice the meat and brown it in the pot for five minutes on each side. Then add the chicken broth and squash and bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Next, add the vegetables and potatoes. Boil for 15 minutes. Last, add in the pasta and let it boil an additional 12-15 minutes. In less than an hour, you will have a piping hot, mouth-watering bowl of Freedom Soup. Bon appetit!

Disclaimer: I, myself, am not of Haitian descent, but my husband is. He says MY soup tastes like the real thing! But shhhhh....Ti gran doesn't need to know that!

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