Teenagers will sell their home-made recipes at a famous winter sale, in a bid to encourage the best use of leftovers.
School children have been taught to make soup by Borough Market staff and will sell them at their own stalls in the venue tomorrow, Tuesday, to ward off the chill of the coldest part of winter.
The project aims to make full use of leftovers and save them from being amongst the 1.9 million tonnes of vegetables wasted every year by UK households.
The initiative is part of Borough Market’s commitment to sustainability and waste reduction, signified by its decision to remove plastic bottles and install drinking fountains last year.
Children from London primary and secondary schools will be setting out their stalls tomorrow and selling their home-made soup along with hand-made bread baked in Bread Ahead’s ovens fresh that morning, for Borough Market’s Winter Sale. Every £1 raised by the school children will provide four meals for vulnerable families across the capital.
Pupils were taught the art of creating seasonal soups using surplus vegetables at a special workshop with BBC Saturday Kitchen’s home economist, Michaela Bowles, as well as learning how to bake delicious ciabatta at Bread Ahead’s bakery school in the market. The students then headed back to school to create their own unique recipes. The budding chefs will be setting up their stalls in Green Market, selling their soups to the public and giving other street food traders a run for their money.
The Winter Sale, run as a partnership with food education charity School Food Matters, is in its third year at Borough Market, and so far over 100 students have learned soup and breadmaking skills. The soup sale is part of ‘Young Marketeers’; Borough Market and School Food Matters’ longstanding programme to reconnect children with food. To date, over 29,000 children from more than 80 London schools have been involved in growing fruit and vegetables, learning to make soup, baking food that celebrates their cultural heritage or selling their produce at the market. All proceeds from the programme go to FareShare, an award-winning charity, which diverts good food destined for the bin to make meals for Londoners in need.
Borough Market managing director Darren Henaghan said: “Teaching children to make soup from leftover vegetables is an important part of our overall commitment to reducing waste in all areas of food: packaging, selling, consuming and dealing with surplus produce. Borough Market’s approach to waste goes much further than the usual environmental platitudes. Our mission is to put every leftover piece of food or packaging to the best possible use—to see raw materials where others see refuse.”
None of Borough Market’s rubbish goes to landfill. All cardboard, paper, plastic, glass or wood is recycled. Surplus produce from many of the stalls ends up being distributed to local charities, rather than being thrown in the bin. All remaining food waste, around 8,640 litres per week, is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant—a facility that uses microorganisms to break down organic material and turn it into power, fertiliser and water.
Stephanie Wood, founder and chief executive of School Food Matters said: ““We’ve focused on soup for our Young Marketeers’ Winter Sale as it allows students to get creative with a whole array of seasonal veg. Seasonal veg is cheap, tasty and plentiful and our young chefs will not only develop some valuable cooking skills but also find a delicious way to get their five a day!”
Seasonal Recipe: Parsnip & Pear Soup (Recipe by Michaela Bowles)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 eating pears or apples, peeled and chopped
500ml vegetable stock
1tbsp clear honey
2tbsp natural yoghurt, crème fraiche or cream, optional
· Heat a large saucepan and add the oil, once hot add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes.
· Add the parsnips and pear and cook for a further 2 minutes.
· Add the stock and honey and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the parsnips and pear have cooked.
· Add the yoghurt, crème fraiche or cream if using and stir, then blend until smooth.