Every time I suggest eating soup to my grandchildren they look at me horrified like I just suggested eating worms or bugs. What kid doesn’t eat soup? I grew up on Campbell’s chicken noodle, vegetable beef, and alphabet soup. Not that I would give them canned soup but I was sure I could make something they liked. So, like with most children, it helps to get them involved in the cooking process. I started with telling them we were going to create our own soup recipe and asked what ingredients they would like to put in it. After all the silly suggestions were dealt with we got down to corn, carrots, tomatoes, rice and tortilla chips. That sounded like tortilla soup to me so that’s the direction we went. I would have liked to add a few more things like red bell peppers and maybe chopped spinach but I didn’t want to take any chances so we stuck with their list of ingredients. After the soup was made and they had gobbled up their bowls I said that next week we should try noodle soup. Caleb looked at me and said “I’ve heard of noodle soup, we’ll have to give it a try.” Ah, the sweet sound of success.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (use the amount you think your family will enjoy)
  • 2 cups frozen (or fresh if in season) corn
  • 1 cup chopped spinach (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked rice (quinoa is good too)
  • 1 jar (25 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 tbsp Sweet Heat Chili Sauce or your favorite chili sauce (start with 1-2 tbsp and add more according to the level of spiciness your family likes - if  you are not using Sweet Heat Chili Sauce and the chili sauce you use isn’t sweet add 1 tbsp molasses)
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional garnish)
  • cilantro (optional garnish)
  • lime wedges (optional garnish)


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot or dutch oven and add the onions, carrot, red pepper (if using) and garlic. Add salt to taste and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the corn and spinach (if using) and continue to sauté until the corn is warmed through.
  3. Add the rice, tomatoes, broth and chili sauce and bring to a simmer. Heat for 15 minutes or so until all the flavors have combined.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips and any other optional garnishes you choose.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 6 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 253, Cal. from Fat: 71, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 35g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 393mg, Chol: 0mg


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. You may need to add a little additional broth when reheating if the soup becomes too thick.

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