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The nose knows (now with link to the recipe)

Last night, I made Pumpkin and Black Bean soup for dinner.

As I ladled soup into bowls, I wondered what possessed me to make such an ugly dinner. Aidan, our oldest daughter, will eat anything, but my boys are very visual when it comes to their foods. They like it to look innocuous and show promising glimpses of cheese and noodles. Nothing about pumpkin puree mixed with black beans, onions, diced tomatoes, and heavy cream looks edible. In fact, it looks like a job for the Tilt-a-Whirl operator and his bucket of sawdust.

They stared at the contents of their bowls. Thankfully, they’ve learned to politely hold their tongues because I don’t tolerate rude and ungrateful remarks about what I’ve cooked. Nobody likes those one-way tickets to Jammietown.

I didn’t have to hear the internal monologues swirling around in their noggins to know what they were thinking, though: Is she trying to ruin my life and make me a nerd? I hope I am allergic to this. Where is the cheese? Is the possibility of chocolate ice cream later worth the risk of dying from grossness and black beans?

I quickly realized my only hope was to involve the one thing the soup had going for it, which was its incredible aroma.

“Okay, I want everyone to put their nose down by their soup and inhale.”

They complied.

Ryley looked up and smiled. “I give it two thumbs up!”

Sam gave the soup a single half-thumb, which translates to fantastic in his world. His rating system is notoriously mysterious and stingy. Really, you have to respect him. A half-thumb represented victory. Not round-off-back-handspring victory, but a quiet, knowing-nod type of triumph. It’s a little like the What Not to Wear folks peering into your closet and noting everything looks really, really great. And can Stacy borrow that dress?

Tommy was still skeptical, but I knew he’d try it eventually. Out of the four boys, he is the most likely to try new foods—but he doesn’t like to admit it.

Joel was solely interested in his dinner roll. As far as he was concerned, I made cracked wheat rolls for dinner and maybe some other stuff from a pot on the stove but it was none of his business and if he kept his head down and didn’t look me in the eye or anyone else then maybe the fact his bowl had been shoved to the center of the table would go unnoticed and I’d forget all about it and in an hour or two when I am tired and have changed into my pajamas as a sign I am ready to throw in the day’s towel, retired to the couch, I’ll yawn a yes when he asks for ice cream and he’d get to make a brown sticky beard and everyone will laugh and then he’ll lick the bowl clean and leave it on the table so he can go to the bathroom and use a hand towel to wash his dirty, dirty face but oh! is his tummy finally happy…


Dinner was a success, which I define as kids taking more than a few bites and me thinking yes, they are getting it. There is hope.


Update: I got the recipe here. It was yummy and very easy. I modified it slightly by using 4 cups of chicken stock instead of 3 cups of veggie stock. It was still spicy (the recipe calls for cumin, curry, and cayenne), so I am glad it was diluted a bit. Also, I used one 29oz. can of pumpkin rather than two 15oz. cans. That measly one ounce of pumpkin wasn’t missed.

7 comments to The nose knows (now with link to the recipe)

  • I think that soup sounds delish. I made sausage, white bean and kale soup while my family was here and they seemed a little hesitant. They all loved it- my sister even asked for the recipe!

  • Sounds so warm and cozy. I can almost see everyone sitting around the table with their respective soup responses.

    Recipe to share, perhaps?

    Beth – total mom haircut’s last blog post..This tells you way too much about how sad my life is

  • So glad it turned out. It reminded me of when Heth tried that New World Chili with butternut squash, only I think she had a few turn their noses up, lol. But I made it and everyone here loved it.

    Do you have a recipe???

    Joanne’s last blog post..A New Week

  • sounds so good and I must try it this week. I put the recipe in my food network “recipe box”:) Love that feature and love rachel’s easy recipes.

    Courtney’s last blog post..carnival…

  • “one-way tickets to Jammietown”

    My new favorite quote!

    Kids and new foods can be hard. Even with making them eat whatever was served, I have still managed to come up with some picky eaters. My oldest is the worst, with a small pile of “yuck” stuff on the corner of her plate after every meal. She is 20 so I don’t say anything about it anymore!

  • Joanne is right, the first thing I thought of was the New World Chili. I think it’s been long enough, I could pop this one on them without too much trauma. It sounds delish.

    I was snickering while reading your kids’ reactions to new foods. It confirms that our children are cut from the same cloth. Love this post.

    Heth’s last blog post..Wheee! Haircut!

  • This sounds right up my aisle! I love a good soup and pumpkin can do no wrong this time of year (other than be smashed on my street)!

    Minnesotamom’s last blog post..Stellan’s Birthday

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