Lewes chef’s super soup

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Tania Duff, chef at the Busy Bees Nursery in Lewes, has been announced as one of nine finalists of the group’s ‘Sensational Soup’ competition launched across all of its 213 nurseries in the UK.

The competition’s aim was to encourage staff to create a delicious hearty soup that will be included in all Busy Bees Winter 2013 menus, using fresh and healthy ingredients.

The group believes soups are not only a comforting and warming meal, but also a great way to incorporate fresh vegetables into the children’s daily diets.

Tania created a ‘Spiced Roasted Root Vegetable and Lentil Soup’ with Focaccia bread to accompany their meal, using fresh carrots and rosemary grown in the nursery’s garden. She wanted to create a soup which uses seasonal ingredients and includes fresh produce from the garden so the children can be involved in the process, helping to pick them, wash them and prepare them.

Regional Directors and Catering Managers at Busy Bees judged Tania’s soup and decided to put it forward to the finals. Regional Director Vikki Skinner said: “The soup was very tasty and the bread particularly good. We felt that the children of all ages would enjoy the soup due to the texture, flavour and colour. It was very appetising.

“The bread was soft and flavourful and had a lovely taste of rosemary but not too overpowering. Tania really did some great research on the soup that the children would like and showed her love and enthusiasm for her job.”

She beat more than 30 other entries in the region to reach the Sensationbal Soup final, to be held at Marco Pierre White’s Carnarvan Arm’s in Newbury, Berkshire, on July 9.

The nine finalists will make their soups in a ‘MasterChef’ style challenge before their soup will be judged by Busy Bees Managing Director, Marg Randles, and guest Chef Andrew Bennett, Executive Chef for Marco Pierre White’s Wheelers pubs.

Marg Randles said: “Soup can bring back so many fond memories of being a child and this is what we want our children to experience at Busy Bees, and why we decided to launch the Sensational Soup competition, giving our nurseries the opportunity to talk to the children about the benefits of eating fresh produce, get excited about cooking freshly made meals, and grow their own produce to include in recipes.”