Friday Recipe: Soup of Sunshine Created by High School Culinary Students

February 04, 2011 | Written By:

When presented with the Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest challenge of coming up with a healthy school lunch on a tight budget with limited ingredients and specific nutrition standards, the culinary team from Richards Career Academy knew they would have to think outside the box. Following a Caribbean cuisine theme, the students designed a meal with bright flavors and innovative ingredient combinations that wowed guests and judges alike.

One of the items on their lunch menu was Soup of Sunshine, which earned its name from the combination of fresh herbs, flavorful fruits and vegetables and even peanut butter. The ingredients come together as a suprisingly hearty soup that is as creative as it is tasty!

Many thanks to studnet chefs Gerardo Garcia, Ruby Gutierrez, Claudia Ramirez and Lidia Sanchez for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Soup of Sunshine


  • 1 medium Spanish onion
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 2 small apples
  • 1 1/2 bananas
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup frozen yellow squash (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro


  1. Dice onion, bell peppers, apples and banana into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Heat Canola oil in large pot. Add onions, bell pepper and apples; gently sauté until softened.
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add bananas, squash, diced tomatoes, peanut butter, cilantro and all spices; continue to boil for one minute, and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes or until produce is tender; add cilantro.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning to desired flavor.


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