Cooking for kids when you don’t have a kitchen

This is my kitchen as at 5 August 2012.

It has been this way for some time.  A kitchen company, which will remain nameless, have let us down badly on their delivery date of mid-July.  Meantime, we are surviving with an old microwave and my builder’s kettle.  My sanity remains intact only because the children are viewing it as some sort of grand adventure. I wish we were still living at the farm.  Of course, I recognise that waiting on a kitchen is trivial in the overall scheme of things.  However, when you are a passionate foodie and relish cooking for your family everyday, not having a kitchen is like being a writer but having no pen.  It’s miserable.

We’ve eaten more Thai takeout, store-bought roast chooks and pizzas than bears thinking about. All my trusted friends such as the slow cooker, rice cooker, blender, sandwich grill – anything I might use to prepare a meal, are 300kms away in storage at the farm.

My new best friend

And then, out of the blue, Tefal came to my rescue*.  They contacted me to ask if I’d like to test-drive their new appliance, “Soup & Co”.  Sometimes life is beautifully serendipitous.  Initially I was reluctant, as I am not a gadget girl, (my husband will snort with laughter when he reads this) preferring instead traditional kitchenware, but under the circumstances, I jumped at the offer.  I am now totally in love with this shiny new thing and am likely to remain so.   It makes all types of soup a no brainer, reducing preparation and cooking time significantly.  I wish my Grandma had had this in her day.  More than this, it also makes perfect smoothies, milkshakes and hot chocolate, which is very handy when you have two young children (who thankfully, also love soup).  It can be used as a standard blender (good for preparing baby food).  Grace, my 9 year old daughter ventured further and made a delicious bolognaise sauce.  It was a triumph, despite our then having to borrow the neighbour’s stove to cook the spaghetti and eat it on paper plates.

Last night, it was as simple as chopping a few ingredients, finding a can opener and pressing a button, to prepare Bobo de Camarao (Brazilian Prawn Soup).  This soup is one of 40 recipes in the neat little cookbook supplied with the appliance.  I for one had never heard of Bobo de Camarao before now.  Tomorrow, I’m thinking of making a warming winter vegetable soup.

Soup & Co is valued at $299.95.  This is not cheap, however I think it’s a worthwhile investment.  But why not try and win one? Tefal have offered me one to give away to a reader of this blog.  So, for a chance to have your own, simply tell me what soup you’d serve me if I were to visit and why.  The winner will be chosen for their imagination and creativity. I’ll leave it to my daughter Grace to decide.   Be quick!  Competition closes Monday 20 August, 2012.  Open to Australian residents only.

*Tefal supplied the author with one Soup & Co to review and, thankfully, keep.


  1. says

    Oh wow, that looks fantastic! I’ve successfully melted half of my current blender bits, so it would be great to win a new one!!! I’d probably serve you the mighty mean minestrone I make with the massive free range ham bones available from our local butcher. Ideally I’d include our home grown beans, carrots and tomatoes, but then I’d be starving our possums! Can’t have that 😉

  2. Murray River says

    I’d serve stone soup. Because as friends know in times of strife/want or worry, we all pitch in to lend a hand. So to the stone, each person will add a little of what they had. I’ll add some parsley, because having just moved house it is a relocated treasure from a much loved home that I’d be happy to share. Your children and great circle of friends will add to this and garnish it will love & enthusiasm, as we all sit down to share and enjoy the most delicious bowl of community soup. Enjoy.

  3. Monica says

    Oh darling , didn’t you know that Soup Dinner Partys are the fondue parties of this millennium?! Now that the raw food movement is gaining momentum and we are all starting to be more conscious of the foods we put into our bodies, this is a fun idea. Everyone brings a pot of healthy soup and let the fun times begin. Great for getting vegies into little ones without them even knowing. This is my new absolute favourite Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese – but I won’t give you the recipe – you’ll just have to come over and taste it! What are you bringing 😉

  4. Anna says

    Hope your kitchen misery/ adventure ends soon 😉 If you and your family were to come for diner, (but I should warn you: I cannot cook), it would probably be an asian inspired pumpkin-carrot soup with a dollop of yoghurt, some fresh koriander and crusted bread. Even my kids like it! When are you coming?

  5. jasmine1485 says

    Ooh, definitely tomato, garlic and roast capsicum soup, I’d top it right before serving with some finely diced and fried chorizo and mushrooms and serve with little garlic toasts (can’t have too much garlic right?) :) Plus I always like having little toasts to dip into my soup, it makes me feel fancy. Maybe I’ll even hold out my fancy finger. 😛

  6. Liz says

    Well right now, I have a massive cold, so would serve chicken soup to
    a) make me feel better (it has been shown “to improve mucociliary clearance” in a medical study!)
    b) impress you because chicken soup is always delicious.

    I’d add a small amount of shredded ginger on top, for some extra flavour and hopefully an extra immune system boost! And croutons and cracked pepper, just because I think they make any soup taste better :)

  7. Eleanor Jodway says

    DANG, another contest I missed! And this one, would have been right for Me! I LOVE SOUPS! I am always brewing up some new concoction or other! Creamy root vegetable and thyme is one of My fav! And roasted field Tomato! Alas, I have just found this post in My Spam folder! *SIGH* I hope Your kitchen is finally in order! I deplore contractors who do not stand by their commitments! Great post Caro. And I suspect that You are resourceful enough to get through any type of setback! :)

  8. Monica W says

    Missed it as well!!! Somewhere I put a comment (Twitter/Facebook/can’t remember) about making Jerusalem Artichoke soup as its a 30 year old running joke with my oldest and dearest friends in the UK. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to have a reunion weekend with five of them when we shared the JA soup saga again – this time we had to try and explain it to the 7 daughters (& 4 sons) we have produced between us but it was lost in translation!!

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