Success Stories

Soup Cellar

Jennifer Fisher, Home Economics Teacher, Burnaby Mountain Secondary,  604-664-8552 or jennifer.fisher@sd41.bc.ca

Jennifer teaches Advanced Foods and Catering to about 20 students.  The curriculum is divided into “sections” to reflect a professional kitchen, e.g. salads, baked goods, etc.  There was a need to design some main dishes.  They started by making stock and moved into soups.
It was the music teacher who suggested they sell the soup.  Dollar store cappuccino mugs and compostable serving spoons were purchased.  Students use their own bowls/mugs and are charged $2.50 for soup and bread, or they can rent a mug for a $1.00, i.e. they pay $3.50 and get a $1.00 back when they return the mug which is then washed in the dishwasher.  Most staff bring their own mugs and an “ugly mug” contest is being planned.  The serving spoons are composted and eventually find their way into the soil in the school garden or greenhouse, where the herbs for soup are grown. Soup is sold every Wednesday from the “Soup Cellar”, aptly named for the kitchen, located in the basement of the school, in which the soup is prepared. Every student group is challenged to make soup that will sell and they have shown a lot of interest in choosing recipes that are healthy and taste good.  In this arena they have even become a little competitive.

People involved:
Advanced Foods and Catering students and teacher, and the students and staff that purchase the soup.

Key changes/results:
Jennifer and her students have discovered that kids love soup, especially on cold, rainy days. They’ve also discovered that pureed soup sells better – perhaps it’s because you can’t identify what’s in it!  For example, the “Cauliflower Sweet Potato Curry” soup was a great seller – the cauliflower made it creamy and the potato made it sweet.  (On a marketing note, it was advertised as “Sweet Potato Curry”, as there was some concern that cauliflower might not be a great seller).  On a good day, about 45 bowls of soup are sold, indeed they have started to sell out.  The students are interested in publishing a soup recipe book to be used as a fundraiser.

A bigger stock pot is needed and the class will be asking the PAC for support to purchase one.  Finding the time and space to cool the prepared soup and refrigerate until service.

Keys to success:
Student involvement.  Flexibility – when pressed for time, alternatives to buns and breads have been made, such as baked samosas, using a recipe from one student’s grandmother.


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Making it Happen: Healthy Eating at School
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