Kitchen Humanities: Red Bean Stew

Red Bean Stew


In this 7th grade humanities lesson, students prepare Red Bean Stew. This lesson is the first 7th grade lesson of the year and provides students the opportunity to practice skills from 6th grade and prepare for their 7th grade kitchen experience.


After this lesson, students will have:

  • Reviewed 6th grade tools, techniques, and concepts, and be prepared for 7th grade in the Edible Schoolyard kitchen


During this lesson, students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of 6th grade tools, techniques, and concepts to complete the Red Bean Stew recipe and lesson


For the Chef Meeting

  • Red Bean Stew recipe

  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration

  • Visual aid


  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Coriander
  • Cumin seeds
  • Red Beans
  • Tomato sauce
  • Assorted greens
  • Vegetable stock


  • Chef knives
  • Paring knives
  • Crinkle cutter
  • Garlic peeler
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoons
  • Ladle
  • 2 stock pots
  • Strainer


  • Stove

Before You Begin

  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather the supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the visual aid
  • Copy the Red Bean Stew recipe to hand out
  • Prepare the vegetable stock (for the first class)
  • Cook the beans


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Welcome the students back to the kitchen and introduce Red Bean Stew as a chance to review knife skills, knife safety, and kitchen systems.
  2. Explain the difference from 6th to 7th grade: more complex lessons, using each other as a resource by asking each other before asking the teacher, and an emphasis on team work.
  3. Review the ingredients on the platter and explain how they will be prepared for the soup.
  4. Ask students to identify the greens from the garden.
  5. Introduce the herbs (bay leaf and thyme) and spices (red pepper flakes, cumin and coriander) students will use to season the soup. Explain that coriander is also the seed of the cilantro plant and has been harvested from the cilantro in the garden.
  6. Explain that vegetable stock is a good use of vegetables that would normally go into the compost (i.e., carrot peels, onion peels, etc.) and to add another layer of flavor to the soup. Review the parts of the vegetables that will be saved to make vegetable stock. Explain that to make vegetable stock, you cover vegetable scraps with cold water and cook them slowly over low heat to extract the flavor from the vegetables.
  7. Ask the students to wash their hands and join their table group.

At the Table

  1. Meet with the table groups and review knife safety and kitchen systems.
  2. Review the recipe, check-in, and assign jobs.
  3. Prepare the recipe and set the table.
  4. Eat.
  5. Clean up.

At the Closing Circle

Ask: What would you like to cook in the kitchen this year?

Download: Red Bean Stew Visual Aid

Download: Red Bean Stew Recipe

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