School soup stars announced!

By 17th December 2021News

School soup stars announced!

William Westley C of E Primary School, Cambridge, and Billing Brook School, Northampton, have been announced as the joint winners of the annual Kids Country Winter Warmer Soup Challenge.

The challenge is devised by Kids Country, an education initiative managed by the East of England Agricultural Society, to encourage primary school children to get cooking with locally sourced and in-season British produce in the battle to win not only the coveted Winter Warmer Soup Challenge trophy, but also a £200 cash prize.

William Westley C of E Primary School’s team (Bailey, Arthur, Isla and Lydia) created a ‘Lava Surprise Soup’, whilst Billing Brook (Dylan, Lilly-Mai, Krystian and Ethan) went for a ‘French Onion Soup’.

The challenge is supported by Central England Co-operative, with judging headed up by MasterChef finalist Simon Spooner, Rutland.

After cooking up the final recipes with his own children over the weekend, head judge Simon said: “This is the second year that I have been privileged to judge the Winter Warmer Soup Challenge, and it was really tricky this year – I had to have two winners! The school finalists all made fantastic soups – well done to everyone, there was a significant step up in complexity from last year.

“I really enjoyed trying them and can’t wait to be involved again next year,” continued Simon.

Kids Country education manager Sandra Lauridsen presents children at William Westley Primary School with their prize

Dr Elizabeth Nally, Year 3 teacher at William Westley C of E Primary School, Whittlesford, Cambridge, said: “We made a soup from leftover vegetables from our Harvest School Assembly, as we didn’t want anything to go to waste. The contest gave the children an excellent opportunity to make cross-curricular links with English, in writing the recipe, and with science, where they evaluated the nutritional value of the soup ingredients.”

Dr Nally continued: “During the challenge, the children learned to appreciate the farm-to-table concept. They also gained experience in working collaboratively while creating an inexpensive and nutritious dish. The whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable!”

Billing Brook School, Lumbertubs, Northampton, made a successful bid to retain their 2020 Soup Challenge trophy. Mark Taberner, Food Technology Instructor at Billing Brook School Academy Trust, said: “Billing Brook are pleased to have taken part in the Winter Warmer Soup Challenge for several years. Each year the students thoroughly enjoy their experience, and this year was no different.

“The theme for this year was based around the thinking behind ‘Field to Fork’ and the reduction of food miles by buying locally produced, seasonal produce. Many of the ingredients used in our soup were grown by the students in the school horticulture area. The students enjoyed making their French onion soup, were so excited to make the final four and delighted to have been awarded joint first place. It demonstrates how cooking encompasses a huge range of skills, touches on all other areas of the curriculum and helps to build confidence and independence.”

Sandra Lauridsen presents Billing Brook School with their prize

Kids Country education manager, Sandra Lauridsen, commented: “We are so proud of all the schools that took part. The two winning schools demonstrated not only amazing cooking and English skills to think up such tasty recipes, but also a tremendous understanding of the importance of using local produce where possible and reducing food waste. Making soup is a great way to use up leftovers in the fridge, and we are delighted that our competition has once again helped more children understand that important ‘Field to Fork’ message.”