A "local" minestrone soup recipe for 500 kids

This week is Agricultural Literacy week in New York State, organized by Cornell's Agriculture in the Classroom program. Every year, Cornell extension agents and other volunteers head in to the classroom to read an Ag-related children's book.

This year it's Tom Darbyshire's Who Grew My Soup?:

In this delightful book, Phineas Quinn questions the vegetable soup his mom serves for lunch. He refuses to slurp a single spoonful until he knows who grew each of the vegetables. Much to his surprise, a man in a flying tomato balloon shows up to answer his questions. Phinneas joins the magical Mr. Mattoo as they fly from farm to farm, learning about the amazing vegetables, and meeting the farmers who grow them.

Teachers can play their students a related song and watch the author read the book in this snappy video.

Saranac Lake cafeteria employees hard at work making "local"minestrone. Photo: Ruth Pino.

Saranac Lake cafeteria employees hard at work making "local"minestrone. Photo: Ruth Pino.

The cafeteria at Saranac Lake Central School District took it one step further. Manager Ruth Pino writes in that they served a "local" minestrone soup yesterday:

The soup was prepared with all New York State vegetables and as many local vegetables as possible, including purple Tucker Potatoes that were harvested by Petrova elementary students in the late fall.

So, the obvious question, of course — what's the recipe for a minestrone soup for 500 ravenous children with (very) discriminating palates?]

Well, here you have it, thanks to Ruth!

16 gallons vegetable stock

6 lbs. onions

20 lbs. diced tomatoes – not local this time of year : (

30 lbs. Tucker Purple potatoes

40 lbs. local frozen vegetable blend – corn, carrot, green bean and peas

6 large cans of White beans @ 6 lbs. each

Hopefully with the work of the Adirondack farm to school initiative we can increase the amount of local in our future soups

Halve this recipe, and you've still got soup for the whole neighborhood!

The final product. Photo: Ruth Pino.

The final product. Photo: Ruth Pino.

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