In honor of my kids starting school on Monday, I thought it would be fun to share an alphabet soup recipe…also known as ABC soup, or for our purposes, it’s “MPM Soup.” This recipe is a big hit with kids or grand kids, of course, but even an adult can appreciate the taste and simplicity of this yummy chicken noodle soup.
Cooking this soup is as easy as A–B–C.
A. Add the veggies and chicken to a pan and allow to cook.
B. Boil the broth and thyme in the same pan.
C. Cook the pasta.
Plus, this recipe uses mostly zero point foods! You really only count the pasta and broth when figuring out the WW SP, which is why one serving just 2 WW FreeStyle Smart Points. Want to drop it down to 1 WW SP? Just use 1/2 cup pasta instead of 3/4 cup.
Question: Do you play with your food?
Here is an interesting fact: Kids who help cook, or who get to play with their food, are more likely to eat their food! You can read about my personal experience with this here. Or you can read this great article from Ann Fishel (author of Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids) that gives lots of great benefits to letting your kids play with their food here.
Fun/Learning activities to do with Alphabet Pasta:
After eating our soup, I encouraged my 8 and 10 year olds to be creative with the leftover uncooked alphabet pasta. They had such a good time with it that I began to wonder why I didn’t grab a bag of alphabet noodles years ago. For less than $2, my kids entertained themselves for over an hour! Before we get to the recipe, I want to share some fun games my kids helped me come up that you can do with Alphabet pasta.
You can skip past this part if you want to by jumping to the recipe here.
Fun things to do with Alphabet Noodles:
- Create the full alphabet. (A,B,C, D…)
- Group like letters together. (i.e. all the “A’s” in a pile together and all the “B’s” in another pile, etc.)
- Ask the child to create a message that they would want to share with you. (i.e. “Mom, you are the best”) 🙂
- Get out paper and a pencil and use the letters to play hangman.
- Give each child a large handful of letters and set a timer. Let them race to see who can get the most words out of their pile of letters.
- Race to see who can come up with 3, 4, or 5 words first.
- Pull out X’s and O’s and play Tic-Tac-Toe on a piece of paper.
- Put some uncooked pasta in a zip-close bag in your purse. Then pull them out when you are waiting at a restaurant as a way to keep kids entertained until their food is brought out.
More learning activities with alphabet pasta…
- Put out the first and last letter of three letter words. For instance, R (space) N. Have the child plug letters into the middle to see what words they can come up with. (i.e. Run, Ran, Ron)
- Alternatively, you could give the child the last two letters in a three letter word. For instance, put down A-T and allow them to come up with as many words as they can that end with A-T. (i.e. cat, hat, rat, sat)
- Show the kids a word written on paper and have them find the same letters and make the word you made. Then have them read the word.
- Have the child come up with rhyming words. (This one piggy-backs off of #2)
- Practice sight words or spelling words.
- Do a letter “search and find” where you suggest letters for the child to look for in a pile of letters.
- Write out the alphabet on a piece of paper and have the child find each letter and put it over your written letter. Continue doing this until they have covered the whole alphabet with the pasta. Ask them to tell you what each letter is as they find it.
This last game is a little more elaborate. My eight year old son, Kipton, came up with it. It’s not a learning game. It’s more of a “just-for-fun” game, but I told him I would share it with you anyway because it’s an example of how playing with the pasta can promote creativity:
Get out three bowls. Make three separate piles of pasta…two of them smaller in size and one big pile called the “Jackpot” pile. Cover each pile with a bowl and move them around while the other person is not looking. When you are done moving the bowls around have the other person pick a bowl and see if they can guess which one is the “Jackpot” bowl. Regardless of the amount, that person gets to take whatever pasta they find under their bowl. Keep doing this, taking turns, until you run out of pasta. The one with the most pasta at the end is the winner.
Do you have kids in your life? Consider making them this soup, and then encourage them to get creative with the uncooked pasta afterward. Feel free to drop us a comment at the bottom of this post, telling us what they come up with. I would love to hear their ideas!
Okay, enough about playing…now let’s talk about eating! Are you ready to make a simple soup?
Here is what you need:
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken, cubed
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat-free chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
3/4 cup DaVinci Alphabet pasta
Here is what you do:
Spray a 4-quart (or larger) sauce pan with cooking spray and set to medium heat.
Add chicken, celery, onion, and carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 more seconds.
Stir in broth and thyme and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Lower the heat to a simmer. Add Alphabet pasta to pan and cook 5-7 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
Makes 8 cups.
One cup is 2 WW FreeStyle Smart Points.
- Serves: 8 servings
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 112
- Fat: 1 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 14 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 404 mg
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 11 g
- Cholesterol: 22 mg
- Cooking spray
- ½ pound skinless, boneless chicken, cubed
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups fat-free chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¾ cup DaVinci Alphabet pasta
- Spray a 4-quart (or larger) sauce pan with cooking spray and set to medium heat.
- Add chicken, celery, onion, and carrots to the pan and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 more seconds.
- Stir in broth and thyme and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Lower heat to a simmer. Add Alphabet pasta to the pan and cook 5-7 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
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*SmartPoints® calculated by Meal Planning Mommies; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated without Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.