Recipe for Confetti Soup

The Charleston team's entry is eligible for the Popular Choice award. Votes can be cast at www.recipesforkids challenge.com:Makes 6 servings1 3/4 tsp of canola oil3 2/3 oz carrots, raw, diced4 tbsp and 2 1/3 tsp of kale, raw, chopped3 2/3 oz onions, frozen, chopped3 2/3 oz celery, raw, chopped1/2 tsp of black pepper3 1/2 cups of water1 tbsp, 2/3 tsp of parsley, raw1/4 tsp of fennel seed, whole1/6 tsp of crushed red pepper1 lb, 2 oz black-eyed peas6 oz turkey ham1/2 tsp of saltPreparation

Provided

Burke student Auja Ravanel serves up some Confetti Soup.

Cypress Restaurant Executive Chef Craig Deihl didn't know what to expect when a Charleston team entered a national competition to create a healthy school lunch recipe, so he crossed his fingers and hoped.

It couldn't have worked out better thus far. The team's recipe for Confetti Soup has been named one of 15 semifinalists in the contest sponsored by Let's Move!, first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to end childhood obesity, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"We all worked together and got it done, and to be in the top 15 in the United States, that's a pretty big accomplishment," he said.

Members of Charleston's team are Deihl; Burke High School students; Slow Food Charleston, an eco-gastronomic nonprofit; and the Lean Team from the Medical University of South Carolina.

The team could submit three recipes, and one had to include dry beans or peas. Deihl brainstormed with students on foods that he could add to the soup that would make them eat it, and they suggested ham.

He tried to use more indigenous products, such as black-eyed peas and collard greens, although he used kale in the submitted version of the recipe.

"It was a play on what your grandmother would have -- beans and greens," he said.

The judges apparently liked what they saw, and Confetti Soup was one of five semi- finalists for its category from more than 350 total submissions.

The recipe is eligible for a Popular Choice award, and Burke also will be visited by a team to help determine the three finalists that will participate in a national cook-off event this summer. Winning teams will be invited to prepare their meals alongside White House chefs.

The recipe wasn't Burke junior and team member Tyler Manigault's most favorite or least favorite, but it was OK, he said. He's glad the recipe has done well, and even if the recipe doesn't go any further, he said he is grateful for the experience of working with Deihl.

"It just puts a lot of the stuff we learn into play," he said. "All the stuff our teachers taught us, we got to be hands-on and push forward and further our career. I'm going to remember everything because it was a fun experience."