Learning prepping, cutting and mixing skills with Potato Soup


Students made bustin’ potato soup today. I overheard it in the comments between bites.

This soup is always satisfying and frugal to teach several different skills, how about twelve to be exact?

The day before this lab, I demonstrate the vocabulary along with the definitions as we prep and cook the soup together as a class. I’ve found that students pay attention better when they know they will be called upon to help prep the class recipe. They also have study guide to complete as we match the definitions to the vocabulary.

IMG_2870Students learn how to weigh the potatoes in two batches at a pound each since the recipe calls for 2 pounds. We determine equivalents in ounces and they realize how useful a scale really is.


Simple ingredients make a flavorful soup. I tell the students it’s the celery, carrots and onions that pump up the flavor, as well as the chicken broth and evaporated milk.

IMG_2859On lab day, students practice the skills they learned, such as peeling and dicing the potato, thinly slicing the celery, dicing the onion and peeling the carrot and shredding it on the box grater.Everyone is quite the busy cook.

IMG_2860They quickly learn that covering the stock pot brings the water to a boil faster at 212 degrees. The next step is to vent the lid to allow the steam to escape and turn down the heat to a simmer.

IMG_2863When the potatoes are fork tender, they drain the water off the vegetables and prepare the soup.


Flour is whisked into the broth and evaporated milk and cheese is measured. Plenty of salt and pepper are the way to go with potato soup. Season is also a “skill” on the state test.


Students learn to mash potatoes the old-fashioned way with a little muscle and a potato masher.

IMG_2861All of the liquids are combined and brought to a simmer until the soup thickens a bit.

IMG_2862Lastly, they fold in the cheese with a spatula.

IMG_2867Piping hot soup with saltines makes a warm meal on a cold day. Lots of skills practiced during this lab. Some even had to soak the pot due to sticky residue on the bottom, which is another “skill” on the state test. Soaking: to soften the stuck on food for easy removal.

IMG_2868Lots of leftovers will be used for a teacher luncheon on our next TWD. We’re selling potato soup, salad and a brownie for $5 to go toward our FCCLA account. I’d say this is a bustin’ lab experience also.

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