Battling the Cold With Homemade Vegetable Soup!

Hello again!  My name is Rebecca Holmes, and this is the third blog for the Operation Frontline class at Loaves and Fishes this winter.  I’m an Intern at the Food Shuttle, and manage the Loaves and Fishes class in order to fulfill a practicum requirement for my NCSU health minor.   So far, the class has only been wonderful.  Here are links to blog posts from Week 1 and Week 2. I look forward to Wednesday every week, and each lesson provides me with a different experience.  This week Megan (our nutrition instructor), Susan (our chef), and I (class manager) collaborated our efforts to provide the youth with a lesson including the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, interactive preparation of vegetable soup, and a planting and gardening lesson. We switched up our routine a little this week.   First I helped the youth plant snow peas, I talked a little about plant care, and then I explained to them the importance of buying locally grown crops.  They seemed excited about their individual plants, and very excited to take them home this week.  I planted one as well, and will bring it to their last class to show them how my plant has progressed.  Next, after thoroughly washing the soil off our hands we headed to the kitchen to cook our vegetable soup with chef Susan.  It was filled with colorful ingredients!  Their cooking lesson mainly consisted of proper vegetable chopping techniques, and Susan stressed to them that making soup doesn’t have to be time consuming and it’s a good way to use leftover vegetables.  For dessert Susan taught them how to make baked apples with raisin honey filling and a maple syrup yogurt topping.  While the apples baked, and the soup simmered Megan gave the youth a MyPyramid inspired fruit and vegetable lesson.  She asked the youth to recall all the colors that were included in our soup, and explained that more colors gives more variety.  She followed up with an activity to further their knowledge of variety where they used their senses, excluding sight, to identify fruits and vegetables.  She discussed with them the different vitamins that fruit and vegetables provide, and why we need them.  They completed an activity that included arranging fruits and vegetables by their vitamin A and vitamin C content using nutrition labels.  After the lesson it was time to eat!  The meal was warm, full of variety, and absolutely delicious!

We would like to give a special thanks to the Food Shuttle kitchen staff for providing us with such wonderful vegetable stock!

Stay tuned for the update next week from the Loaves and Fishes Power of Eating Right OFL team.

Vegetable Soup

makes 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of chopped tomato
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen okra, cut in rounds
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¾ cup small shaped pasta
  • 1 16-oz can of kidney beans
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil and/or 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil and sauté carrots, onions, celery, and garlic in a large pot
  2. Add in vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add tomatoes, squash, okra, peas, and pasta.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until the past a is almost done
  4. Add beans.  Cook for another 5 minutes
  5. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve with croutons and parmesan cheese if wanted.

Baked Apples

makes 2 servings

  •  1 small apple, cut in half
  • honey
  • chopped nuts
  • raisins
  • yogurt
  • maple syrup


  1. Use a melon baller to remove the seeds and make a small hole.
  2. Mix honey, nuts, and raisins.  Fill the hole with the mixture.
  3. Wrap in tin foil, and bake halves in oven.
  4. Mix yogurt and maple syrup to top the baked apples.