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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stone Soup

Did you know this is the week to celebrate fables and folk tales? One of my favorites is the story of the Stone Soup.
Some travellers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travellers. The travellers fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire in the village square. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travellers answer that they are making "stone soup", which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with just a little bit of carrot to help them out, so it gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travellers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.

1 stone, big enough that it won't get lost in the soup (quartz is a good choice because it won't break down in cooking)

1 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped fine

1 large carrot, cut into coins

3 medium red-skinned potatoes (unpeeled, and cut into halves)

1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 large garlic clove, pressed

6 cups chicken broth (or a combination of broth and water)

1 medium zucchini, diced large

1 medium yellow squash, diced large

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

2 cups cooked tubettini or ditalini, or other soup pasta (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese




The first step is for your child to scrub and wash the stone thoroughly. Then, for an extra cleaning, she can drop it in a pot of water to boil while you prepare the rest of the soup together.

In another large pot, melt the butter or heat the oil, then sauté the onion on medium-high for 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrot, potatoes and red pepper, sautéing for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add in the broth. Using a spoon, fish the stone out of the other pot, add it to the soup and bring to a boil. Add the zucchini, squash, corn and pasta, cooking another 8 minutes or until the zucchini is the desired softness. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle on the cheese and croutons, then ladle--minus the stone--into individual bowls. Serves 6 to 8.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the loaf with a serrated knife. (This will depend on the size of the loaf) •Remove bread on the inside, making it hollow. Leave about 1 1/2 inches thick on the inside. Using your basting brush, brush olive oil on the inside of the bread bowl. This creates a seal, ensuring whatever you put in the bread bowl will not leak out. Bake bread bowl on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, until golden on the inside. Remove from oven, fill with desired soup or stew and serve!
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  1. I love that story! I've always wanted to make stone soup - but never have. It would be a great Youth Group of 4H activity to teach teamwork.

  2. cool story, but I gotta say... ewwwwwwwwww, who wants to eat soup with rocks in it (even if they are just for "flavor").


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