We are working on Laura's first "Try-It" badge for her Brownie Scouts. This is new since I was a Brownie, many moons ago -- Try-Its are the Brownie equivalent of merit badges, giving the girls opportunities to try new things. (Another Brownie troop gives examples of what they've learned and done here.)
This Try-It is called "Make It, Eat It," encouraging girls to learn cooking skills and find out what fun it can be to make your own meals. Tonight we made the vegetable soup and the baked apples, and so had a whole meal of Try-Its!
At the market, Laura chose carrots, green beans, and celery from the produce section; we had a can of Great Northern beans in the cupboard. I added salt to taste and a few sprigs of thyme from the garden, too, as it needed just a little something -- the girls were quite delighted to go out and collect their own herbs, too.
I also learned something that I didn't know before tonight, from Daddy, when I remarked about the combination of beans and rice -- apparently they are complementary proteins, which when combined make a complete protein, instead of merely two starches, as it were. (A very simplified definition, no doubt -- there is a more elaborate explanation here, and more examples here.)
This is a very simple but hearty soup, good with a piece of delicious French bread.
Brownies' Vegetable Soup
1/2 cup rice
3 cups vegetables
1 cup beans
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
In a large soup pan over medium heat, put the rice and 1 cup of water. Cook until the rice is soft and most of the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Add the vegetables, beans, and broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is hot and the vegetables are tender.
Makes about 6 servings. Preparation time, about 1 hour.
We started the apples first, so that they could bake while we made the soup.
The health-food store we were shopping in didn't have marshmallows (go figure!), so we used brown sugar instead -- maybe not quite enough, as the apples were rather tart, but still it was a nice dessert.
4 baking apples
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
about 1/2 cup raisins
4 large marshmallows
about 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Peel the apples about halfway down from the top. Core each apple almost to the bottom, and place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour the juice over the apples, and stuff the center of each one with the raisins, and sprinkle them with the cinnamon.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and put a marshmallow on top of each apple, letting it melt. Serve hot or cold.
Makes 4 servings. Active work time, about 15 minutes; total preparation time, about 1 hour.