When I was in High school, at Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet, I started a petition to try to change the School lunch program into something healthier.
I realized pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen so fast, or from a petition. I consider it a step in the right direction, when I visited there this year, and saw several benches were torn out where we used to hang, and were replaced with garden beds.
Less then a decade later, my Son, Zane Allister, was in Kindergarten at Topanga Elementary, and I wanted to do something about lunches. I realized at some point, that if it was illegal to donate and create a salad bar for the lunch program, but Parents were allowed to bring cupcakes inside the class on their kids Birthday, then I could bring salad anytime I wanted. Often my son would walk out of class with a cupcake loaded with high fructose corn syrup, from a Birthday celebration. I tried not to make a thing about it, but I wanted to donate vegetables for the kids.
I asked the teachers each year if I could, and once in a while I donated to the class. I washed fruits and veggies, shaved the carrots, cut the celery, prepared cucumbers. Simple fruits and veggies, direct from local, organic farms, to provide the kids with some extra nourishment in the middle of the day, inside the classroom. The Teachers were happy about it, and the kids walked out of the class with eyes wide open, thanking me.
Once my Son was in 5th grade and wanted to be a part of the play, I was asked to be the Assistant Director, which also gave me the opportunity to provide organic fruits and vegetables for after school snacks.
Today, Zanes in 7th grade, and it was my turn to make lunch for the school at Topanga Mountain School, where he attends.
Two days ago, I sent a picture on instagram, of the 2 surprise Snowball Pumpkins that popped up in the middle of a sweet baby pumpkin field at T & D Farms. My Aunt made the comment….
“Soupe De Potiron”??? (also called “Potage Aurore” or “Dawn Soup”). A wonderful blend of pumpkin/potiron and tomato with thick cream, dash nutmeg, according to cookbook written by my grand-mother La Mazille…she was a big time “Bonnes Soupes” maker.
My Aunt Isabelle was the wife and muse of My Great Uncle (by blood), and one of my favorite artists, Judson Huss. So I was pretty happy to see her comment about soup art.
I gathered anything the farms that I already buy from weekly, were willing to gift to the School. I normally don’t ask farms for donations because I want them to receive more, but in this case, we were all happy about this possibility.
I realized, even though I had a different type of winter squash, I pretty much had the ingredients for the soup she mentioned.
Which squash did I have!? The coolest one, of course! It’s name is, “Sweet Candy Roasted Georgia Squash”. From “The Garden Of” farm.
Some people like more or less cream, some like leeks, some don’t, some want a few fresh tomato chunks, some are willing to try my side of fermented salsa. The point is, I don’t have a measured recipe for this soup, but you’ll know what to do for your own. Here’s my current version of “Soup De Potiron”. It couldn’t be a better time of season for a blend of heirloom tomatoes and pumpkin. Tomatoes will be out soon, and winter squash will still be in. So if you wanna do this later, freeze some tomatoes from Tutti Frutti farm! You can get #2 heirlooms, for $10 per 10 pound box, best deal for incredible tomatoes!
~Sweet Candy Roasted Georgia Squash
~Raw Organic Pastures Cream or Nut Cream
I laid it out for the kids, so that they could pick out their own toppings, and mixings. Most wanted the cream! Some didn’t, so it’s good to give them the option. Same with the squash, some just wanted plain tomato soup, not squash, tomato soup.
The squash was roasted in chunks.
The heirloom tomatoes, were pureed and then simmered. I lost two liters while simmering, and stirring, so that it would be less watery. I only added rice vinegar and himalayan salt.
Sautéed leeks on the side, sautéed some corn, cut fresh tomatoes, and basil from home greenhouse. The kids just grabbed the toppings they wanted, and all seemed happy and nourished with the lunch. If they wanted cream, they could just stir some in.