The Magic of Soup Day by Laura Ford

Written by Ian Cuevas

January 31, 2022
Ms. Laura Ford shared some insight on what Soup Day is at the Waldorf School of San Diego.  She, along with Ms. Penman and Ms. Sandelin, opened up their kitchens and classrooms to allow us to capture some of the imagery and wonderful smells & flavors.

Snack is an integral part of the curriculum in Waldorf early childhood classes; the daily snack brings not only nutrition, but rhythm, ritual, and routine to our days and weeks. Ask any child in the grades or even high school what they remember most about kindergarten, and snacks will be high on their list!

Soup day seems to be the universal favorite, and we are so happy that we have been able to bring it back to some of our classes this year. There is something so magical about Kindergarten soup and bread! Created in community with joy and song, it nourishes us body and soul.

“On the morning of, the smell of sautéed garlic and onions often fill the hallways.  Grades students in passing period, are often seen with their eyes side open or eyes closed, relishing the smell of what must be soup day!”

Aminta Penman

EC Teacher

The day before Soup Day, we make bread; the children help knead the dough while we sing our bread-making songs. This activity supports and nourishes our senses, and builds strength in our hands. Then the smell of baking bread fills the school!

The children are excited to bring a vegetable or fresh herbs to add to the soup each week. When they arrive, the room is already filled with the aroma of onions, garlic and herbs that are the basis of the broth. 

During play time, children come to the table to chop all the vegetables into “fairy bites” or “mousie nibbles” while we sing, “Chip, chop, chippety chop, Chop off the bottoms and chop off the tops, put what’s left into the pot, to make our soup so yummy and hot!” Some children join for just a couple of minutes before running off to join the play and others want to stay until every vegetable is chopped! While they are chopping the vegetables they notice the different colors and textures of the vegetables (science!); they are building motor skills and perseverance, along with a sense of community and accomplishment.

When at last it is snack time, we join together to sing a blessing, and share the warm bowls of soup. The children say,”Look, here’s my potato!” “Here’s the carrot I brought!” Even children who are at first reluctant to try the soup are won over by their classmates’ enthusiasm, and their own participation in the soup’s creation. The warm, buttered bread is passed around to enjoy with the soup… yum! 

“Soup Day saves me when I forget my lunch!  It’s delicious!”

CJ McGrady

Admin Asst.

Ms. Sandelin’s and Ms. Penman’s Periwinkle Thursday Soup


The soup varies each week, depending on which vegetables the children bring that day and what is available in the garden. The children chop the vegetables into “fairy bites”. 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T each paprika, oregano, salt
  • 2T basil
  • vegetables, chopped small – carrots, beets, potatoes, squash, beans, greens, etc
  • 1 box brown rice noodles

Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft. Add herbs and garlic and cook a few more minutes, stirring frequently. 

Add vegetables and water to cover and boil until vegetables are soft. Add brown rice noodles 10 minutes before serving.

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