Amherst Magazine

Five-Star Focaccia

By Emily Gold Boutilier

Attention, first-years: Right now you might be wondering how you’ll survive without home-cooked food. Fear not! We’re here to help, with menu recommendations from last year’s senior class. When the staff at Valentine Dining Hall asked the Class of 2010 last spring to submit requests for their favorite Val meals, 25 seniors requested 54 different menu items, most of which appeared on the menu in the weeks before graduation. Among the most asked-for items:

  • Miriam’s coffee cake
  • Potato-carrot soup (recipe below)
  • Chicken focaccia
  • Pierogi
  • Butternut squash
  • Shells with sundried tomatoes, chicken and spinach
  • Congo bars
  • Golden cherry crumble

Potato-carrot Soup
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped potatoes
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs orange juice concentrate
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
black pepper to taste
chopped parsley


Combine water, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Let vegetable mix cool slightly.  Process mix in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients except parsley. Garnish with parsley.