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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom



National Soup Month

Soup of the Evening, Beautiful Soup
by Lewis Carroll, from Alice in Wonderland
Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

January is National Soup Month. In early times soup was called "pottage" (from pot and the Latin potare, to drink), but by the Middle Ages, the word "soup" had replaced "pottage" in most European languages. The word soup is thought to have come from the sound made by slurping hot liquid from a spoon. Some variations of the word are soop, sopa, sope, soepe, suppa, soppe, soep, suppe, soppa, sopera, soupe, chupe, zuppa, and zup. To sup was to eat the evening meal at which soup was traditionally served. Eventually the meal itself became supper.

Most soups have stock as a base. Stock is made by simmering various ingredients in water, including meat, bones, vegetables, herbs and spices. The flavor of bone stock comes from the cartilege and connective tissue in the bones. The gelatin in bone broth has many health benefits. Connective tissue has collagen in it, which gets converted to gelatin that thickens the stock. The less desirable parts of vegetables (such as carrot skins and celery ends) are often used in stock.

Celebrate National Soup Month by introducing students to some of the vegetables grown in Oklahoma. Read the classic, Stone Soup, then make anOklahoma version. This lesson includes math, science language arts andsocial studies lessons for grades 1-8.

Writing Prompts
  • Write about a memory related to eating soup or bread or both.
  • Make up a soup recipe using unusual ingredients.
  • Write an advertising campaign for your favorite soup.
Brown, Marcia, Stone Soup, Atheneum (reprint), 2010. (Grades PreK-2)
Old French tale about soldiers who trick miserly villagers into making them a feast.
Compestine, Ying Chang, The Real Story of Stone Soup, Dutton Juvenal, 2007. (Grades PreK-2)
A fisherman complains that the three boys he has hired to work on his boat are stupid and lazy, even though the illustration reveals that he is lounging while the boys toil. For lunch one day the boys make a soup, tricking their boss into believing it is river stones that create the flavor. The boss returns to the village, boasting of his new discovery. A recipe for Egg Drop Soup is included.
Kimmel, Eric A., and Phil Huling, Cactus Soup, Marshall Cavendish, 2004. (Grades PreK-2)
This Mexican variant of Stone Soup calls for a single cactus thorn as the soup's base.
Madden, Eric, Nail Soup, Frances Lincoln Children's, 2009. (Grades PreK-2)
A traveler in the forest stops at a lonely cottage, hoping to beg a bed for the night. The scowling woman who answers the door agrees to let him sleep on the floor but declares she hasn't a bit of food in the house. He takes a rusty old nail from his pocket and starts to make nail soup.
Muth, Jon J., Stone Soup, Scholastic, 2003. (Preschool)
Another Chinese version of the tale, this time with monks and selfish villagers.