If you’re in a cold part of the world (like we are in Massachusetts), then you already know it’s soup season. And you also know that eating soup is a great way to stay warm--but so is making it! Founder Sally Sampson was famous for her soups well before she started ChopChop. She had a restaurant in Brookline, MA where people raved about her recipes. Luckily you can make them at home, too. We’re including some below. What else are we sharing this month? We’ve got tips for knife skills (soup requires lots of vegetable chopping), information about our newest cooking classes, and ways to get kids more involved in cooking. We hope you’ll take us up on them!
The ChopChop Family
New Year, New Cooking Workshops
December was one for the books at the ChopChop Test Kitchen! We continued our Edible Alphabet series for toddlers and their grownups by studying letters T-W. Next, we learned from Steven Spielberg's private chef how to make Hollywood-inspired movie night snacks in our cooking workshop for grades 3-5. And lastly, we finished up the month with four Winter Holiday Cooking Workshops, where kids made edible gifts to give to family and friends.
This month, pick up some new cooking skills for the new year. Our 2019 events schedule is off to a great start with Pajama Brunches and Soup Workshops kicking off this month. We’re wrapping up our current Edible Alphabet series for toddlers and their grown-ups with U (Ugli Fruit) through Z (Zucchini). We have listed our classes through June so you can get ahead on planning your visit to our Test Kitchen. Learn about all of our upcoming classes here.
Sally is famous for her soups for a reason. These six recipes come straight from her stovetop. Add Mushroom and Sausage Soup, Roasted Winter Borscht, Broccoli, White Bean and Basil Soup--and more--to your soup rotation, and we promise your winter will warm up in no time.
How can you tell when a pot or pan is hot without burning yourself? Simply flick some water on the surface—it should dance and evaporate immediately.
How To: Knife Skills
It’s almost impossible to make soup without a knife! Think about foods like celery, onions, and carrots which are the base of many soups and which need to be chopped, sliced, and diced. Using a knife can be intimidating, but once your family masters knife skills you’ll all be able to cook more--and more safely and efficiently. Here are some tips help your family learn basic knife skills together.
A Word from Sally: A Word From Sally: 5 Ways To Get Kids Involved in Cooking in 2019
I founded ChopChop to inspire and teach families to cook and eat real food together—not just to help combat illness, hunger, and poor nutrition, but because cooking at home is vital to every family’s well-being. Getting kids in the kitchen at a young age cultivates an interest in both what they’re eating and where that food comes from—essential curiosity for a lifetime of good nutrition. Plus, if kids (especially picky eaters) are involved in the cooking process, they are much more likely to eat that meal. And, eventually, they will end up cooking YOU dinner. Here are five learning activities to get the whole family involved, and since they don’t require knives or heat, they’re perfect for younger children:
1. Count: Even the youngest chefs can count ingredients, such as tomatoes for salads or vegetables for a pizza topping, which is a great way to reinforce developing math skills.
2. Blend: Have kids push buttons on a blender for smoothies. Kids love the loud whirring sounds of tools like food processors and blenders and they also love watching solid food transform into liquid. (Make sure to put the lid on tight!)
3. Measure: Have kids fill measuring cups and spoons. Show them the right way to level off dry ingredients. Don’t have the right measuring cup? Use it as an opportunity to convert measurements using math.
4. Stir: Kids love to stir ingredients with a spoon or their hands. Pancake batter is fun to mix, salad is fun to toss, and ingredients are fun to stir together. Let kids test out different cooking tools like whisks and wooden spoons.
5. Taste: Tasting ingredients, as well as the finished dish, encourages kids to try new foods and teaches them to season food as they cook. Kids should taste a dish before they serve it, to see if it needs anything to amp up the flavor, even if they’ve already added all the ingredients listed in the recipes.
Warm Up With ChopChop
Have you seen our winter issue yet? It’s in mailboxes and kitchens all over! Donate here to receive your winter issue along with a year of ChopChop. (Spoiler: We’re working on a great issue for spring!)
ChopChop Family is an innovative non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and teach children and families to cook real food together. We believe that cooking and eating together as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics.