Healthy veggie soup is mmm mmm good

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Front to back on left are Gavin Parto, 9, Kye Levy, 9, Robert Conlan, 10, Ethan Jacobson, 10, and Attilio Romolini, 10; and on the right front are George Naame, 10, Pat Agnellini, 9, James Bradley, 10, and Michael Hung, 11. Front to back on left are Gavin Parto, 9, Kye Levy, 9, Robert Conlan, 10, Ethan Jacobson, 10, and Attilio Romolini, 10; and on the right front are George Naame, 10, Pat Agnellini, 9, James Bradley, 10, and Michael Hung, 11.

MARGATE – There is nothing like hot soup on a cold day, and Valentine’s Day proved perfect for youngsters to try some heart-healthy homemade minestrone.

Little and big hearts were warmed by the soup cooked up by food service manager Dana Gold at the William H. Ross School Thursday, Feb. 14. It was only made better by the incorporation of vegetables grown in the school garden that had been frozen after the harvest.

Third-grade teacher Jessica Cuevas, who is the garden coordinator, said among the ingredients grown on Margate soil were peppers, spinach, carrots, garlic, rosemary, oregano, parsley and spices.

She said the tasting was good for students to try a new type of food that can be seen as more “grown up” than chicken noodle.

To make the connection between what was on the menu and why it was good for them, Cuevas’ students made a chart outlining what vitamins and minerals came from the vegetables that went into the soup.

“It’s not only about getting them to taste something new, but balancing it with eating well,” Cuevas said. “We don’t want kids to be afraid of vegetables.”

Margate Police Chief David Wolfson and a handful of officers helped out in the cafeteria and interacted with students.

“It was great to see this kind of event that brings kids together with administration and police in a positive environment to help promote a good school climate,” said Superintendent Theresa DeFranco. “This is one of our goals for this school year.”

Gold was happy to hear lots of compliments as ladles dipped deeper and deeper into the pots of soup.

“I love the idea of doing something every Valentines Day with vegetable tastings and other soups with homemade recipes,” she said.

Students needed little encouragement to offer reviews to their teachers and a reporter, listing their favorite ingredients as everything from the broth to veggies such as peppers and carrots.

Gold said the recipe was fairly simple: half vegetable stock, half water, and add whatever vegetables you want. Gold said she added tomatoes and put out a large basket of shiny red apples to match the red that staff and students wore for Valentine’s Day. 


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