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Vegetable Soup

179298723_thinkstock.jpgWith the kids back in school, club and classroom fundraisers begin again.

One is the Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser — a way to raise money while sending a message that cookies and candy aren’t the only good things to eat.

Now in its third year, the program allows Manitoba schools and daycares to sell potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and cabbage in $10 or $20 bundles, with half the cash staying with the school or daycare.

The program, a joint venture, quickly gained traction after it was rolled out in 2010 by the Manitoba Home Economics Association; the province and its Buy Manitoba Program; and Peak of the Market.

It turns out vegetables sell like hotcakes — the initial 66 schools in the first year expanded to 432 schools and daycares last year, which collectively sold a whopping 60,000 bundles of veggies to households across the province, including northern Manitoban communities where vegetables can be expensive and harder to get.

I don’t know how this compares with sales of chocolate bars. But aside from fundraising, it’s a darned good idea as the vast majority of kids — and lots of adults, too — don’t eat nearly enough vegetables.

You can find out more about this fundraiser, including how to enrol a school or daycare, at www.farmtoschoolmanitoba.ca. Orders will be taken after Sept. 16, with a 2013 goal of selling an additional 5,000 bundles — so get ’em while they’re crunchy.

A hot soup is a perfect autumn meal and a great way to use homegrown vegetables. This recipe is off the Farm to School Fundraiser’s website.

  • 1-1/2 c. potatoes peeled and cubed1 c. parsnips, peeled and cubed1/2 c. carrots, peeled and sliced1/4 c. onions, chopped4 c. water1 tbsp. vegetable bouillon powder1/2 c. elbow macaroni1/4 tsp. garlic powder1 tbsp. parsleyPepper to taste
  • 2 lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks2 apples, cored and quartered 1 onion, diced5-1/2 c. chicken broth1/2 tsp. salt

In a large pot; add parsnips, apples, onion, chicken broth and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for two hours or until parsnips are tender. Let cool. Blend mixture in blender. Reheat and serve.

Serves 6.

  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine1 large onion, chopped1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped2 tsp. curry powder4 c. chicken stock1/4 c. uncooked rice2 c. zucchini, unpeeled and diced1/2 tsp. salt1 c. milk

In a saucepan, melt butter; sauté onion and apple until soft. Sprinkle with curry powder; cook, stirring, for a few seconds. Pour in chicken stock; bring to a boil. Add rice, zucchini and salt. Cover and cook until rice and zucchini are tender, about 30 minutes. Using a hand mixer, blend until smooth. Return to pan and add milk. Heat through. Serves 8.

  • 2 tsp. olive oil1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped8 c. water4 chicken or vegetable cubes2 c. broccoli florets, slightly chopped 2 c. carrots, sliced1-1/2 c. celery, sliced1 c. green beans, cut in half1 red pepper, thinly sliced 1 yellow pepper, thinly slicedSalt and pepper to taste

In a large pot; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden, about three minutes. Add water, chicken cube and vegetables. Bring to boil.

Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6.

  • 3 tbsp. water1 c. fresh basil leaves 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated1 tbsp. olive oil2 large cloves garlic, peeled2 small onions, chopped6 c. water 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped4 small potatoes, washed and quartered3/4 c. fresh green beans, trimmed3 small zucchini, cubed 1/2 c. broken, uncooked spaghetti noodles

In blender, place three tablespoons water, basil, cheese and oil; process. With blender running, drop in garlic; process until smooth. Add more water if too dry. Set aside.

Coat large sauce pot with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onions, cooking until tender. Add six cups water, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add zucchini and spaghetti; cook 12 to 15 minutes more or until vegetables and spaghetti are tender. Just before serving, stir in basil-garlic mixture. Serves 6.

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