Grow your own soup


Grow a plot, pot or allotment of vegetables to turn in to soup when harvested.

  • Estimated time: 60 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Maths, Geography

Learning objectives

  • Use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
  • Understand seasonality and where food comes from
  • Know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown and processed


This activity will take two 30 minute sessions to carry out. Preparation is required for both stages.

For 1st session (steps 1-4)

Identify an area or space where you can grow your soup bed. It can be 1x1 metres or bigger. If you don’t have any growing space, you can plant vegetables and herbs in pots or large containers instead.

Collect soup recipes from magazines, cook books or online.

Extend the session buy using our Fruit & vegetables for health lesson plan

For 2nd session (steps 5-6)

Prepare a rota for watering and weeding of the soup bed over the summer holidays.

Buy vegetable and herb seeds you wish to grow.


  • Selection of soup recipes to choose from
  • Paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Grid paper (for planning)
  • Vegetable and herb seed packets
  • Seed catalogues (these can be used instead of seed packets)
  • "Planning a soup bed" resource

Step by step

Grow a soup bed ready to harvest vegetables and herbs so you can make a tasty soup for the Big Soup Share.

  1. First choose a soup you and your students want to eat. Look at and discuss different vegetable and herb combinations.
  2. Choose a recipe for that soup. You might like to try Potato and Leek or Minestrone.
  3. Look at the ingredients in the recipe. What vegetables are required? Are there any herbs? Write up a list of all the crops you are going to need.
  4. Depending on the growing space you have, decide whether you are going to grow your crops in a 1x1 metre bed or a larger space. If you don’t have any space why not try to grow in pots?
  5. Choose what crops from your soup recipe you are going to grow. Buy seeds that will be ready to harvest in September or October. Look at the seed packets for planting distances between plants. This will tell you how much space you will need between rows of plants and allow you to plan your soup bed.
  6. Use our guide “Planning a soup bed” to help you. Now it is time to sow your seeds and get ready to grow. Please remember that plants will need to be looked after over the summer holidays.

Hints & tips

  • If you are starting the growing of the soup bed later in the season e.g. after the Easter holidays, you can buy plug plants from your local garden centre or online ready for planting.
  • Quick growing crops such as lettuce, radish, beetroot, spring onions and spinach can be sown from seed and harvested approximately every 2 months.
  • Buy supermarket herbs and plant them out for a quick and easy selection to add to your soup.

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