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kid's friendly vegetable soup

How to Use Leftover Pasta In A Kid’s Friendly Vegetable Soup

kid friendly vegetable soup

(Yes!) A Kid’s Friendly Vegetable Soup

This recipe is inspired by the Recipe Redux Challenge for this month. If you follow the blog (you can do so here if you wish) you know that each month a bunch of us dietitian foodies publish tasty and healthy recipes together on the same day, using the same theme.

I really like this month’s Recipe Redux theme because it is about reusing leftovers or making two meals out of one. Here’s the skinny:

Recipe Redux Theme for March: Two for One

We’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favorite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish.

My favorite? Using leftover pasta into a new meal. Che Bello!

And why? If you have a big family, lots of hungry kids, throw some teenagers in the mix, then you know that pasta is one of the easiest and ‘make everyone happy’ meals.

And because kids like to eat the foods they know and like (a learned effect), I often serve pasta, prepared in different ways, several times during the week. Pasta is one of those foods that carries flavor and is easily ‘likeable’. Pasta can be a base food for your kids to try new foods, that you add in, especially vegetables, because of the power of pasta and the draw of its pleasing the crowd.

Why leftover pasta is the best leftover to start a new meal

I always cook more pasta than I know we can eat. This is because I can whip up the leftover (plain) pasta into another dish the next day.

Benefits of eating pasta at our house: (and your house?)

  • Everyone likes it
  • You can mix healthier food into pasta dishes (think veggies and tomato sauce), using pasta as the base for taste
  • It is an affordable food option
  • For growing teenagers who eat a lot, pasta is a good nutrition source to provide calories, energy and satiation
  • Pasta stays well in the refrigerator under plastic, or in ziploc bags

Lastly, this is a cultural thing, we eat our main meal at lunch and a less meat, lighter meal in the later part of the evening. (We eat like the French, who space out their meals and eat a larger lunch and a lighter and later supper).

First the pasta.

First you need the leftover pasta.

Here is a archive from the blog, a recipe for Linguine Infused With  Lemon Cream and Proscuitto

This is the only dish that my four kids scream in happiness (ahah!) when I bring it to the table. And the best is: it takes about 15 minutes to make, from start to finish.

Don’t forget to make some extra pasta with this dish, or if you are making your favorite pasta dish, make extra pasta, put it in the refrigerator, and serve it with this kid’s friendly vegetable soup.

Kid’s Friendly Vegetable Soup

(hint-the leftover pasta makes the soup something kids will like to eat, because the pasta carries the flavor and your child’s learned taste of  “I like pasta!” )

Ingredients (for 6 persons)

Make the vegetable soup:

  • 3 ounces or about 75 grams (5 tablespoons) of salted butter
  • lots of vegetables, cut into dices or slices: i used 5 leeks (white part), 2 large potatoes, 4 carrots: peeled and diced
  • about 1 1/2 liters or 6 cups of water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • pinch of sea salt


  • Heat up the butter in a large soup pot on the stove.
  • Add the vegetables into the butter, mix well and let the vegetable ‘sweat’ for about 5 minutes in the butter, mixing only once. Do not let butter burn.
  • Add the water, vegetable bouillon cubes, dash of sea salt. (If you have fresh vegetable broth, you can use this in place of water + bouillon).
  • Bring soup to a boil and immediately after, reduce heat to low and cover soup.
  • Let soup cook for about 30- 45 minutes and turn off heat when vegetables are soft to eat, but not overcooked.

Vegetable Soup With Leftover Pasta

Here is how to put the last touches into the soup. You can do this at the table and your kids will love to see you put their soup together!

  1. Bring the hot soup to the table.
  2. Put a small amount of leftover, cold pasta into each bowl. The pasta is served cold into the bowl because it cools down the soup slightly while keeping the texture of the noodles. I do not recommend heating or reheating pasta noodles directly into the soup because the pasta gets mushy and pasty.

That’s it!

Note: I added a another leftover to the soup and you can do this too. I had leftover meatballs and in each bowl with the pasta went one meatball. Then the soup was poured over. If you have leftover chicken or other meat you can add this to the soup. The veggies make it healthy and the pasta carries the learned taste that kids know they like.

This was a hit last night for dinner!

kid's friendly vegetable soup

Add the leftover pasta to the bowl.

kid's friendly vegetable soup

Pour the soup over the pasta.

Bon Appetit.

kid's friendly vegetable soup

And your inspiration for leftover cold pasta?

I hope this recipe has given you some inspiration for using leftover pasta. My favorite way is to use it in soups because my kids will eat and enjoy the soup I make, especially when it has noodles in it!

Here are a few other ways to use leftover pasta:

I hope you enjoy this Kid’s Friendly Vegetable Soup If you have reached the end and want to see more recipes like this, you can subscribe to BrightonYourHealth monthly newsletter and article updates by clicking on the button below. Your email will always remain private.

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Warmly, Mary

Enjoy my fellow dietitian recipe Reduxers submissions for this month’s Two for One Theme.


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