Recipe – Stone Soup

When I was in kindergarten, I remember my teacher having us join in circle time to hear the old folk tale about stone soup. Being five at the time and armed with a runaway imagination, I was very interested to know why anyone would want to make soup out of rocks. Turns out, stones aren’t a part of the recipe (I mean, unless you really want to include them), but the premise of the story, of adding whatever you can scrounge out of the pantry or fridge to make a basic soup, is something that can easily be done by anyone on any budget!

There are a few basics we’ll need before we get started:

  • A large pot and lid
  • Knives
  • A cutting board
  • A heat-safe spatula or stirring spoon
  • Measuring spoons/cups

And for the the base of your soup:

  • 1 1/2 boxes of broth or stock of your choice (I like using vegetable stock)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. of minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil

Now the fun part is deciding what you want in your soup. You have a lot of options! I would recommend starting with a half-cup of each, but it depends on how much soup you want to make. One of the best things about stone soup is that it keeps and reheats so well!

Some foods you could use:

  • Zucchini or yellow squash, sliced and cut in half-circles
  • Sliced carrots
  • Fresh or frozen cut green beans
  • Small, sliced potatoes, of any variety (I like using red, yellow and purple potatoes to add a nice variety of color)
  • Roasted red bell peppers – These can be found jarred
  • Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • A rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shredded or cut up into bite-sized chunks
  • Medium-firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • Pre-cooked ground beef
  • A cup of barley, for a bit extra hardiness
  • A cup of pre-cooked quinoa

Spice options

  • Bay leaves (I recommend no more than 2)
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Again, you’re not limited to this list. You could get creative and go off of your personal tastes. It’s all up to you!

The following is a recipe for one version of Stone Soup:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 boxes of vegetable stock
  • 1 can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
  • 1 c. pre-cooked quinoa (see my tutorial on how to cook quinoa!)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 6 sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 c. sliced baby carrots
  • 6-8 fingerling potatoes, sliced (I like using red, yellow and purple potatoes)
  • 1 cup shredded chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this)
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Be your own sous chef and prepare your ingredients before you start cooking. I recommend slicing the squash, zucchini and potatoes to about 1/8 in. thickness. This way they cook evenly.

In the large pot, heat the olive oil at a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté the two together (by that, I mean scoot them around the base of the pot with a heat-safe spatula or spoon until the onion starts to become more clear). Be careful not to burn it! This can happen if your heat is too high or if you don’t pay attention or stir frequently.

Once your onions start to become translucent, turn the heat to low and add your sliced raw veggies (except any potatoes). Let them sauté a bit with your onion/garlic mix, and add the spices.

After about a minute of this, add the meat and the canned tomatoes, let heat for 2 minutes, then add the stock and potatoes. If this is not enough liquid for you, or if you want to dilute the stock, a cup of water should do the trick.

Now turn the heat up to high to bring the soup to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes then return the heat to medium heat and cover the pot with a lid for about 15 minutes.

When your potatoes should be soft enough to cut easily with a fork, your soup is ready! Take out the bay leaves (you don’t eat those) and ladle into bowls, being careful of the heat. Serve with bread!

Depending on how much you eat, this should make anywhere from 6-8 servings. And, of course, you can always modify the amounts!

Enjoy your stone soup!


– Raina Shannon, The Hub@TTU

About Raina Shannon
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