Top bean: Ira B. Jones Elementary wins first place for soup recipe

n Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids, our very own Ira B. Jones Elementary School took first place in the Dry Beans and Peas category. The winning recipe? Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup, a joint creation of Asheville City Schools staff and local chef Denny Trantham of the Grove Park Inn.

Recipe winners will next take part in a national cook-off event at the American Culinary Federation National Convention in Dallas, Texas, on July 25. Here’s the full press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the finalists in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, a national contest to promote healthy eating among children. The first place recipes from categories of Whole Grains, Dark Green and Orange Vegetables, and Dry Beans and Peas will compete for the Grand Prize at a national cook-off event during the American Culinary Federation National Convention in Dallas, Texas, on July 25.

“Creating and consuming nutritious meals provides a foundation for healthy lives among America’s children,” said Vilsack. “The Obama administration supports the many innovative strategies in place that enable our schoolchildren to learn, thrive, grow – and ultimately win the future. We congratulate these teams on their hard work, creativity, and dedication to improving the health and nutrition of kids across the country.”

USDA and the First Lady launched the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition last September, challenging teams of school nutrition professionals, chefs, students, and community members to develop creative, nutritious, and kid-approved recipes that schools can easily incorporate into National School Lunch Program menus. The contest is a component of the First Lady’s broader Let’s Move! initiative that also includes Chefs Move to Schools, which encourages chefs to work with schools in their communities.

The public also had the opportunity to vote on their favorite selection in the Popular Choice Award. The honoree for the Popular Choice Award, Tasty Tots from Bellingham Memorial Middle School Bellingham, Mass., will receive $1,500.

The first, second, and runner-up winning recipes and schools for each category are:

Dry Beans and Peas
First Place: Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup, Ira B. Jones Elementary School, Asheville, N.C.
Second Place: Lentils of the Southwest, Sweeney Elementary School, Santa Fe Public Schools, Santa Fe, N.M.
Runner-up: Confetti Soup, Burke Middle and High School, Charleston County School District, Charleston, S.C.

Dark Green and Orange Vegetables
First Place: Central Valley Harvest Bake, Joshua Cowell School, Manteca, Calif.
Second Place: Stir-Fry Fajita Chicken, Squash, and Corn, Monument Valley High School, Kayenta Unified School District, Kayenta, Ariz.
Runner-up: Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap, Mount Lebanon Elementary School, Pendleton, S.C.

Whole Grains
First Place: Porcupine Sliders, Intermediate District 287, South Education Center Alternative, Richfield, Minn.
Second Place: Chic’ Penne, Harold S. Winograd K-8 School Mission, Greeley, Colo.
Runner-up: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Bellingham Memorial Middle School, Bellingham, Mass.

To recognize and share the culinary creativity nationwide, the top ten recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to share with students and families.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs. Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was signed in to law by President Obama in December 2010. This legislation authorizes USDA’s child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. To learn more, visit


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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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9 thoughts on “Top bean: Ira B. Jones Elementary wins first place for soup recipe

  1. I was in a “band” once that had a “song” about soup.

    At least, I think that’s what the singer was screaming about.

    So, um, what’s the recipe? Sounds good.

  2. boatrocker

    Time to sell some soup for operating costs as Repubs don’t see education as important as corporate bailouts and illegal wars. I’m crossing my fingers for you, students. Guns always win vs. butter in NC.

  3. bill smith

    Super-coo to see the bold caps spell out possibilities. Or possibilititis.

  4. Calm down. Whoever posted this page forgot to close a blockquote tag in the HTML.

    There’s one other error in the page but I’ll leave that for someone else to find.

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