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Garden to Table: Cooking

We have been learning to make delicious creations, often using locally-grown and donated ingredients.

In Term 1, the senior students made pear and walnut chutney. Annie and Frank kindly donated a large carton of pears, and Fiona gave us some walnuts. We wrote a list of jobs to complete and the children picked which jobs they would like to do. We had children crying over cut onions, chopping pears in pairs with their peers, zesting orange, shelling walnuts, boiling chutney and making bespoke labels! It was a full-on day, however we had a lot of fun and the chutney tasted fantastic.

In Term 2, we were fortunate to receive delicious golden kiwifruit from Kiwiharvest. The boxes arrived and we dished some out for families. The senior students then cooked the rest - making kiwifruit muffins and kiwifruit jam. We thought it looked like ‘sun in a jar jam’ - what do you think?

We finished Term 2 on a high, spending a wonderful evening together for our Puaka Matariki hakari. We had the excitement of firing up our new pizza oven for the first time, and got to enjoy delicious pizza and soup prepared by the students and staff. Thank you very much to the Otago Community Trust for giving us funding towards the materials to build the pizza oven. Below is the recipe for one of the soups we made.

Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup

Nothing is better in winter than a hearty pumpkin soup. This soup is thick, creamy, and very moreish!


  • 1.2 kg pumpkin (about 1 whole pumpkin)

  • 1 large onion cut into 2cm wedges

  • 6 cloves of garlic (minced)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • A good dash of freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ – 2 cups vegetable stock

Roast the pumpkin on a tray, whole, until the outside is browned and the sugars are starting to pour out. Peel the pumpkin when it has cooled enough to handle. Saute the onion and then the garlic cloves (minced) and leave in the bottom of a large pot. Place the pumpkin in pieces into the pot and pour over the stock and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Once everything is nice and soft, use a stick blender to puree the garlic, onions, and pumpkin. Use water or more stick to get to the desired consistency. You can add milk, cream, or coconut cream to this base to make it nice and creamy, or you can turn it into a Thai soup by adding coconut milk, thai chilli jam and peanut butter.

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