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WorkbookEdition 6 cooking soup

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Passage and Questions

Name________________
Date________________

• Reading Comprehension Assessment
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.

Cooking Soup
Every member of my family knows how to cook one thing very
well. My father knows how to barbecue chicken. My older sister knows
how to make very good lasagna. My younger brother excels at making
sugar cookies. My mother is very good at making casseroles. Until very
recently, I did not know how to make anything. But all of that changed
one day last winter.
Brrrrrr!
It was an exceptionally cold day. Even by North Dakota
standards, this day was rough. The high temperature was -4°. Yes, it
was so cold that the temperature peaked below zero! Luckily, school

was canceled because it was so cold.
So we were all at home, trying to stay warm. My father suggested that hot soup would warm us
up. Soup is perfect for a cold day, but no one knew how to make it. I knew I needed to learn to cook
finally, so I volunteered.
I looked up soup recipes online, and I found one for beef barley that looked easy enough to
make. And, it turns out, it was easy! My first soup also turned out to be delicious.
Since that day, I’ve made soup a couple dozen times. And I’ve tried everything from cream of
mushroom to chicken noodle to an Indian soup called mulligatawny. I am now the official soup expert of
the Luthersen household.
The Process
The secret to making good soup is patience. Soup is not a meal that you can cook quickly. It is
something that needs to be made over several hours. That way the flavors can blend together.
First, I like to start by making a base for the soup. The base impacts every spoonful of the
finished product. In a soup with meat, I usually start by heating oil in the soup kettle and adding meat to it.
I cook the meat with onions, garlic, and sometimes spices or peppers. Then, I add more vegetables on
top of it: potatoes, carrots, celery, or other ingredients.
After those flavors start to develop, and the vegetables soften, I add stock on top of them. Stock
is what makes soup a soup. It is the liquid that holds the ingredients. I bring the stock to a boil, then
reduce the temperature to a simmer. That means the stove is on low, but the soup stays hot.
Then, I sit and wait. A couple hours later, my delicious soup is ready to be eaten. And it goes fast
because it tastes so great!
The best thing about soup though is how many kinds of soup can be made with a basic recipe.
The process never changes, but the soups do. It just depends on what meats or vegetables you want to
use. So, one soup recipe is worth a thousand soups!

1) According to the passage, the narrator’s older sister is skilled at making
A.
B.
C.
D.

barbecued chicken
lasagna
sugar cookies
soup


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Questions



2) As used in paragraph 1, the word excels most nearly means
A.
B.
C.
D.

trains
struggles
fails
shines

3) The information in paragraph 2 suggests that
A.
B.
C.
D.

school gets canceled often in North Dakota
it often gets cold in North Dakota
soup is often eaten on cold days
it is unusual to be cold in North Dakota

4) The passage suggests that a soup cook should NOT be
A.
B.
C.
D.

impatient
hungry
picky
creative

5) What ingredient is added to the soup last?
A.
B.
C.
D.

spices
vegetables
meat
stock

6) According to the passage, the best thing about cooking soup is that
A.
B.
C.
D.

it does not take very long to make
one process can make multiple soups
it can warm one up on a cold day
one pot gets eaten very quickly

7) Based on the information in the passage, explain in your own words how to prepare a soup.
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Questions

8) In the first paragraph, the narrator describes which members of his family have which cooking
responsibilities. Compare the narrator’s situation to your own. Who cooks in your family? Do people
have specialty dishes, or does one person cook everything?
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9) Describe your personal relationship with cooking. What is your favorite thing to cook? Are you good at
cooking it? Would you like to learn to cook something now? How would you do that?
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Answers and Explanations

1) B
Question Type: Detail
To answer this detail question, look for the part of the passage that describes what each member of the narrator’s family could cook.
This occurs in the first paragraph. There, the narrator states that his or her “older sister knows how to make very good lasagna.”
This means she is skilled at making lasagna. It also means choice (B) is correct. The first paragraph states that the narrator’s “father
knows how to barbecue chicken.” This makes choice (A) not correct. The first paragraph states that the narrator’s “younger brother
excels at making sugar cookies.” This means choice (C) is not correct. The entire passage describes the narrator’s ability to make
soup. It does not suggest that his or her older sister knew how to make soup, though. Because of this, choice (D) is not correct.
2) D
Question Type: Vocabulary
excel (verb): to be exceptionally good at something.
In paragraph 1, the narrator provides a list of items his or her family members know “how to cook… very well.” In that paragraph, he
or she writes that his or her “younger brother excels at making casseroles.” This suggests that the brother makes cookies very well.
Since he “excels at making” them, it follows that excels means to be very good at something. The word that is closest in meaning to
excels, then, is shines. This makes choice (D) correct. The passage does not imply that the brother is training or learning to make
cookies. Rather, it implies that he makes them “very well.” This means choice (A) is not correct. The passage does not imply that
the brother struggles to make cookies. Rather, it implies that he makes them “very well.” This means choice (B) is not correct. The
passage does not imply that the brother fails to make cookies. Rather, it implies that he makes them “very well.” This means choice
(C) is not correct.
3) B
Question Type: Inference
In paragraph 2, the narrator describes how cold it was the day he or she learned how to make soup. He or she says “it was an
exceptionally cold day” and that, “even by North Dakota standards, this day was rough.” The use of the adverb exceptionally
suggests that it was colder than usual but that it is often cold in North Dakota. Additionally, saying “even by North Dakota standards”
suggests that North Dakotans are used to it being cold outside. All of this implies that it often gets cold in North Dakota, just not as
cold as it was that particular day. Because of this, choice (B) is correct. In paragraph 2, the narrator states that “school was
canceled because it was so cold.” This only suggests that North Dakota cancels school when it is extremely cold outside. It does not
imply that school is often canceled in the state. Because of this, choice (A) is not correct. It is not until paragraph 3 that the narrator
discusses eating soup on cold days. This question asks about paragraph 1. Because of this, choice (C) is not correct. In fact,
paragraph 2 suggests that it is often cold in North Dakota. The narrator states that the weather one day was “exceptionally cold…
even by North Dakota standards.” This means that North Dakota is often cold, but that one day was colder than most. Because of
this, choice (D) is not correct.
4) A
Question Type: Global
In the end of the passage, under the heading of “The Process,” the narrator describes how soup is made and who can make soup.
That section opens by stating that “the secret to making good soup is patience.” This means that a good soup cook would have to
have patience to make soup. It also means that a soup cook should not lack patience or be impatient. Because of this, choice (A) is
correct. The passage never suggests that a soup cook should not be hungry. In fact, it implies that a soup cook might want to eat his
or her own soup, since it is described as “delicious” in paragraph 9. Because of this, choice (B) is not correct. The passage does not
suggest that a soup cook should be picky or not picky. It only states that soup recipes can be changed to make many soups. This
does not, however, suggest that a soup cook has to like a lot of different foods. It only implies that he or she might try to make
different kinds of soup. Because of this, choice (C) is not correct. The passage does not suggest that a soup cook should not be
creative. In fact, if anything, it suggests that a soup cook might actually be creative. It states that “many kinds of soup can be made
with a basic recipe.” This suggests that a soup cook can create a variety of soups, and a variety of soups would be created by
someone who is creative. Because of this, choice (D) is not correct.
5) D
Question Type: Detail
To answer this detail question, look for the part of the passage that describes the process of cooking soups. This occurs under the
heading of “The Process.” There, the author states that he or she makes “a base for the soup”: he or she adds oil and meat, then
vegetables. These are the first few ingredients. In paragraph 8, the author states that he or she then adds “stock on top of them.” He
or she never mentions another ingredient being placed in the soup, so choice (D) is correct. In paragraph 7, the author states that
he or she adds spices to the soup after adding meat but before adding other vegetables. This means spices are not the last
ingredients added to soup, so choice (A) is not correct. In paragraph 7, the author states that he or she adds vegetables after
making a base. In paragraph 8, though, he or she states that he throws stock on top of them. This means vegetables are not the last
ingredients added to soup, so choice (B) is not correct. In paragraph 7, the author states that he or she adds meat to the soup to
make a base. He or she then adds vegetables and spices on top of that. This means meat is not the last ingredient added to soup,
so choice (C) is not correct.
6) B
Question Type: Detail
In the final paragraph, the author states that “the best thing about soup though is how many kinds of soup can be made with a basic
recipe.” This means that one process can make multiple soups. It also means choice (B) is correct. The fifth paragraph actually
states that “soup is not a meal that you can cook quickly.” This means it is not true that it does not take very long to make, so
choice (A) is not correct. The third paragraph states that “soup is perfect for a cold day,” but the narrator does not imply that this is
the best thing about cooking soup. Rather, it might only be the best thing about eating soup. Because of this, choice (C) is not


READTHEORY

Answers and Explanations

correct. The ninth paragraph states that the narrator’s soup gets eaten quickly, but it does not state that it is the best part about
cooking soup. Rather, that information is provided in the tenth paragraph of the passage. Because of this, choice (D) is not correct.



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