Cooking class uses healthy ingredients and veggies grown on campus.
Cooking class uses healthy ingredients and veggies grown on campus. Photo: Melanie Lipps

Try this Autumn Vegetable Soup recipe

Autumn Vegetable Soup

Autumn Vegetable Soup


2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 medium carrots, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 cups butternut squash cubed and peeled

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Pinch cayenne pepper; more to taste

Kosher salt

2 quarts lower-salt vegetable broth

1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale

1 cup lower-salt canned chickpeas


Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the squash, allspice, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine.

Add the broth, tomatoes with their juice, and thyme.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the kale and the chickpeas and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted, about 10 minutes more.

Discard the thyme springs before serving.

Season to taste with more salt and cayenne.

Employees cooking soup

Employees celebrate Food Day.

by Melanie Lipps, Benefits & Wellness

Miami's Benefits & Wellness team hosted its fall cooking class this month with a theme that celebrated Food Day, a national effort to promote healthy and affordable meals produced with care for the environment. 

With this focus in mind, the class prepared, cooked and enjoyed a menu of recipes packed with healthy ingredients and veggies grown on campus.

The team took the Food Day inspiration to another level through a partnership with Miami’s Institute for Food, a 35-acre, organic farm and experiential educational center located on the university-owned, historic Austin-Magie Farm. The institute is an interdisciplinary program supported by the Provost Innovation Fund and focuses on innovative solutions in support of healthy eating, healthy food, healthy communities, and a healthy planet.

Lauren Wulker, farm manager, collaborated with the Benefits & Wellness team to facilitate a truly “farm to table” experience for Miami faculty and staff.

“We were able to pick vegetables for the class straight from the ground,” said Melanie Lipps, registered dietician and Benefits & Wellness program coordinator. Ingredients from the institute included kale, fresh herbs, butternut squash, peppers, onions, and broccoli.

Participants put their aprons on, got chopping, and successfully prepared a menu including:

  • Autumn vegetable soup.
  • Creamy mashed cauliflower.
  • Creamy lemon dill Greek pasta salad.
  • Baked tortilla chips with cowboy caviar dip.
  • Buffalo chicken quinoa bites. * No bake pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
  • Pomegranate and apple cider spiced tea.

Photo of crops at Miami.

Crops ready for the table from Miami's Food Institute farm.

Next class in March

Sign up to help us celebrate National Nutrition Month in the next class, which is from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, March 10.

This cooking class is part of our Healthy Campus 2020 Healthy Eating strategic priority, and similar classes are offered semiannually. Our goal is to offer fun and convenient opportunities for faculty and staff to learn how to boost the amount of fruits and vegetables in their daily meals while enjoying the benefits of healthy eating.