Years ago I had the blessing of being an au pair in Paris for a family who welcomed me into their family as if I were one of their children too.  One of the many beautiful memories I have with my French family is a visit to a farm near the family’s country home to buy some vegetables.  I remember how the mom of the family did not simply quickly pick out the vegetables, but instead she took the time to hold them up and admire their beauty.  When we brought the vegetables home, she made a delicious soup.  As she made the soup, she smiled joyfully.  She seemed to make the soup effortlessly, without even needing a recipe.

french tomato market
I wish I could make a delicious soup without a recipe, but I tend to need to some guidance.  My go to book for delicious French recipes is The Best Ever French Cooking Course.  This cookbook is definitely worthy of its title!  However, the recipes in this book have many details.  I used to love to spend time following detailed recipes with many steps, but there are many more important things to do these days!  Perhaps your days are busy too?

We decided to take the recipe for Soupe Provençal from The Best Ever French Cooking Course and simplify it.  We left out a few ingredients and chose pre-washed or canned ingredients when possible.  We hope this will make it possible for older children to make it independently and younger children to make it alongside a parent (or even just save you time if you are making it by yourself!).  

In addition to simplifying the recipe, we did a little research on the best knife for children to use to cut vegetables.  From our research, we decided to pick the Victorinox Swiss Classic.  We like that it is sharp (so it does not take a lot of strength to make the cuts) and that it has serrated edges, so that it is less likely to slip.  It also has a nicely rounded tip.  Our 7-year-old was very happy with it.  She used it to cut carrots, celery, and green beans.  Even our 3-year-old used it to cut zucchini (with Mommy’s hands helping to make sure our little one’s hands did not get too close to the blade).

victorinox knife carrot cut

We decided to make a printable for this recipe, rather than list the steps online. Please let us know in the comments below what you think of this format. Is a printable recipe helpful? Do you prefer the online version? Would you like to have both versions?  Also, be sure to scroll down to get our super fun Alphabet Soup spelling activity!

Let’s Make Soup!

vegetable soup

Gather your ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 zucchinis (summer squash)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 handfuls green beans
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 small bowl frozen peas
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 4 cups water (or a package of vegetable or bone broth)
  • 1 spoonful olive oil
  • 1 spoonful of diced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, crushed or diced)
  • Salt to taste


  • A pinch of Herbes de Provence
  • Pesto (for topping)
  • Shredded parmesan (for topping)
  • Fresh basil leaves (to garnish)
soup supplies

Gather your kitchen supplies

• Cutting board
Vegetable knife
• Soup pot and cover
• Liquid measuring cup
• Large spoon
• Can opener
• Strainer (optional if you want to strain your beans)

soup recipe

Click here to download the recipe

Have fun making this French Vegetable Soup! Keep in mind that you don’t have to worry about exact quantities of ingredients. You can leave out some ingredients, or substitute other vegetables of your choosing, and it will still be a delicious soup!

 Bon Appétit!

french vegetable soup bowl
Let’s play an Alphabet Soup game!

Looking for something to do while the soup simmers?  Try our Alphabet Soup spelling game. 

Simply pour letter tiles (from Scrabble or Bananagrams) into a bowl.  Use a spoon to scoop out a few letters.  Place them on the matching letter spaces to spell the vegetable names.  (Note:  Depending on the quantity of letter tiles you have, you may not be able to cover all of the words at the same time.) 

This spelling game comes in French and English.  There is also a lowercase version in English if your child is working on upper and lowercase matching.

Get the free printables here:

Uppercase English

Lowercase English

Uppercase French 

P.S.  This game is not recommended for toddlers and babies who might be inclined to put the letter tiles in their mouth.  

letter tile alphabet soup activity
french spelling game
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