Early in December,  the Department of Food and Nutrition Services tested 3 new soup recipes all loaded with fresh Massachusetts grown produce.  We sampled the soups with elementary students, middle school students, high school students, and staff, collecting surveys and feedback from each group.  We’re hoping to menu the most popular soup + a whole wheat toasted cheese sandwich for lunch in February.

The three contenders are:

Southwest Vegetable:  Black beans, corn, green beans, and local butternut squash in a spiced tomato broth.

Vegetable Minestrone: Local carrots and collard greens along with macaroni and garbanzo beans in a rich tomato broth.

Colombian Butternut Squash and Vegetable: Local butternut squash, carrots, and rutabaga in a cilantro spiked chicken broth with corn and green beans.

All three soups pack a punch in terms of nutrition with a full serving of vegetables in each 8 ounce portion.

And the winner?  By a hair, it’s the Southwest Vegetable.  49% of all testers want to see this soup on the menu, as compared to 43% for the Colombian Butternut Squash and Vegetable, and 37% for the Vegetable Minestrone. 

Look for the Southwest Vegetable Soup on the Cafeteria Lunch Menu February 2nd as part of Local Lunch Thursdays!