Welcome to Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly set of kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, hands-on experiments, and activities paired with suggestions for how to bring learning to life in the kitchen.
For this week’s edition of Kitchen Classroom, kids can blend up an easy batch of Creamy Dreamy Tomato Soup in Cooking For You. Kids will practice their independence in the kitchen by making their own lunch or dinner (plus an extra serving for a lucky sibling, parent, or caregiver) with minimal adult help. As they cook, kids can hone their rhyming skills with a quick and easy rhyming challenge, and explore (or invent!) delicious food pairings.
Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #ATKkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website for more culinary content designed especially for kids, plus all of the Kitchen Classroom content in one easy-to-scan location.
Cooking For You: Creamy Dreamy
Tomato soup is a wonderful way to warm-up on a chilly afternoon, and is easy for kids to make on their own with pantry ingredients. The best part? This dreamy soup is wonderfully creamy—without any cream! A slice of white sandwich bread and the blender are the secrets to its texture. To round out their meal, kids can add our Classic Grilled Cheese for a comforting combination. Kids can get creative by adding some toppings to their soup, such as croutons, a sprinkling of fresh herbs like chives or parsley, a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, or chopped nuts.
What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, opened
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Carefully pour tomatoes and their juice into saucepan.
Stir in broth, bread, and sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread starts to fall apart, about 5 minutes.
Turn off heat and slide saucepan to cool burner. Let tomato mixture cool for 5 minutes.
Use ladle to carefully transfer tomato mixture into blender jar (mixture will be hot; ask an adult for help). Place lid on top of blender and hold lid firmly in place with folded dish towel. Then turn on blender, keeping pressure on towel so lid stays in place. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour soup into bowls or mugs and serve.
English Language Arts (Rhyming, Poetry):
The title of this recipe is “Creamy Dreamy Tomato Soup,” which includes a fun pair of rhyming words. While the tomato mixture is cooling in step 4, challenge kids to come up with some other rhymes using words found in this recipe and around the kitchen.
Start by asking kids to name some of the ingredients that went into the soup, as well as some of the cooking tools they used or see around them in the kitchen. Together, make a list of ingredients and tools, identifying which ones might be easy to rhyme with. Here are some examples to try, if kids need some extra prompting to get started: Broth, bread, oil, spoon, dish, bowl.
Once you have your list, set a timer for one minute and ask kids to come up with as many words as they can that rhyme with each of the words on the list. Later, after kids have eaten their soup, encourage them to use their new list of rhyming words to create a short poem, such as a limerick.
Take It Further
English Language Arts (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas):
Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a universally-loved duo. Ask kids to think about other iconic food pairs, such as cookies and milk or peanut butter and jelly. How many can they name? Ask them to brainstorm some less common, more unlikely combinations that might taste great—and try them, if they’re feeling brave! Popcorn and ice cream, anyone? For more inspiration for uncommon but surprisingly good food pairings, check out this video.