Funky Veg Alphabetti Soup Recipe

cutting letters out of vegetables

Any activity that gets children involved in making and eating more fresh produce ticks a lot of boxes here at Fruutbox. Our local Forest School, the Curious School Of The Wild, is closed at the moment due to the current restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped its founder, the wonderful Nik Elvy, from coming up with some great ideas to engage kids with their veggies.

“As an outdoor educator I have long used food and cooking as a way to bring people together outside. Soup has a large part to play in that, it is a cheap and healthy meal that can easily be scaled up for groups and endless flavours and embellishments added for all tastes, diets and culinary excitement. All food and drink seems to taste better outdoors but soup is one of those dishes where this feeling is amplified and you always feel warm, nourished and cared for.”

Nik is a soup champion, and as part of her Curious & Wild Soup Project, she recently shared this great activity with us. All you need is a set of small alphabet cookie cutters. Nik used a Fruutbox Funky Veg Box as well as some additional vegetables, and because it’s a soup and soup is so adaptable, you can add, substitute or takeaway any of the vegetables to suit what you have. With the pasta and beans, this is a sort of minestrone that you can adjust to suit what you have. The main thing, whether you cook it in the kitchen or outdoors over a fire, is to get children involved in the making, and enjoy the eating.

You can pick up a pack of capital letter cookie cutters online or try your local cookware store.

 letters of the alphabet cut out of seasonal and colourful vegetables

INGREDIENTS

  • Glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 purple carrots, peeled
  • Half celeriac, peeled
  • Half kohlrabi, peeled
  • 2 Cornish golden beetroot
  • 2 Cornish candy beetroot
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red Pepper
  • 4-5 Vitelotte potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 – 1.5 litres low-salt vegetable or chicken stock, made from stock cubes
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 5 sheets/100g dried lasagna sheets
  • Handful of kale or cavolo nero, shredded
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

alphabetti soup

METHOD

  •  Slice all of the vegetables into slices roughly 5mm thick (slicing the carrots and courgette lengthways rather than into rounds) and use your letter cutters to cut out an assortment of letters. You may need to use a folded tea towel to push down on the cutter if the vegetables are a bit hard, so as not to hurt your hand. Finely chop whatever’s left.
  • In a large heavy saucepan (with a lid) heat a glug of olive oil over a medium-high heat and add the onion, carrots, celeriac. Put the lid on, reduce the heat and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring gently every few minutes until it is softening (the onion should be going translucent). Be really careful not to stir too vigorously as you don’t want to break up your alphabet shapes.
  • Add the garlic and fry for a minute, then add the tomato paste and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, most of the stock, and potatoes, kohlrabi, beetroots, pepper and courgette.
  • Put the lid on, bring it to the boil slowly and then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
  • Whilst the soup is cooking, bring a pot of water to the boil, and add the lasagna sheets. Cook the lasagna sheets according to the packet instructions but drain them a minute or two early, so still “al dente”. When cool enough to handle, lay them on a chopping board and use your alphabet cutters to cut more letters out.
  • Add the beans to the soup and cook for another 5-10 minutes (whilst cutting out the pasta shapes).
  • Add the kale/cavolo nero and parsley, and cook through for a final two minutes, adding more hot stock if you need to adjust the consistency.
  • Stir in the pasta letters, season to taste with pepper, and serve!

 a flask of alphabetti soup to be enjoyed outdoors

Nik used the contents of a Funky Veg Box to make her colourful batch of alphabetti soup.

We love seeing what you make with the contents of your Fruutboxes – please tag us in your social media posts to show us what you’ve been making and doing!