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Perhaps it’s the warming weather or last week’s vacation. Perhaps my students are just feeling the need to get things off their chest. Maybe it’s the ramps in the soup. I know ramps make me giddy when they hit the market for their short season (and I can actually find them). In any case, it’s been a strange week.
Like two students on the same day telling me they always hated cooking class.
But now it’s their favorite class!
Oh! — Don’t scare me like that.

Or telling me they hate the soup we’re cooking this week.
Can we please stop using the word ‘hate.’
Then clasp hands behind their back and lap up the soup like a cat. (And yes, there was purring involved.)
I forgot soup always tastes better without utensils.

There were some nonsensical comments (because the actions aren’t nonsensical enough).
Because the soup is good, but not as good when you add water, but better than cotton candy.
Got it.

And in case we were wondering…
We were glad we didn’t add chicken stock because that would have made the soup less flavorful, and the potatoes were just right without the chicken.
I’m glad we decided no chicken.

And yet still, it’s a funny soup because it tastes like chicken and there is no chicken.

And just to make sure I was really going crazy, my student who claims to despise everything set in front of her and proceed to eat everything we make has done a complete 180. This week she loudly exclaimed, without a hint of kindergarten sarcasm:
Ramps?! I love ramps. They’re like my favorite thing and this soup is going to be the best. I love soup- YES!
Twenty dollars she’s never had a ramp.
And by the way, she was calling them rumps. She did love the soup and returned for seconds.

In the end, there was one thing most of us could agree upon:
I used to think adults made the best food. After today though, I think kids make the best food.

A note on ramps (not rumps): Also known as wild leek. Ramps grow in woodlands. They look like flimsy yet flamboyant scallions– imagine the car dealership inflatable air dancers in vegetable form. They smell like like earth, garlic, and onion, and have a mild, sweet, onion flavor.

Spring New Potato Ramp Soup

Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 small (2-4 inch) new potatoes, chopped
1 golden apple, cored and chopped
6 ramps, whole, roots removed
1 cup (about 2 stalks) celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 quart water
1 cup parsley, rough chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
spritz of lemon (optional)

Warm butter over medium high heat. Add potatoes, apple, ramps, celery, garlic, and salt. Saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Add water, increase heat until soup comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook 8-10 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat. Add parsley and yogurt. Use an immersion blender, blitz to combine. Spritz with a lemon wedge and serve warm or chilled.

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