The Origins of Stone Soup

There exists as many legends about stone soup as there does recipes for stone soup. So, in the interest of time, I will share with you my favorite story of stone soup, and how it relates to making quick easy cheap meals.

The story begins with some travelers who arrive in town hungry and destitute. They are unable to convince passers-by in the village to share their food. So, the travelers cook up an idea. They obtain a large pot, fill it with water and put it over a fire to boil. They choose out a smooth stone and place it inside. As the villagers pass by, they inquire as to what the travelers are cooking. “Stone soup,” is the answer. While each villager stands amazed looking at the pot and wondering how stone soup will taste, the travelers convince them that the soup needs only a little garnishing. One villager goes home to get parsley, another to get carrots, and so on, to donate to the stone soup. Well, you can guess that the travelers ended up with a mighty fine pot of soup indeed. And so they did.

Be the maker of a great stone soup

While a great stone soup does not require a stone to make it great, the story is fun for the telling. The story sets the stage for you becoming the creator of your own great soup. To begin, you need a tasty broth. To that you will add vegetables, grains, and meat if desired. Season with herbs and spices and let simmer. Raw ingredients will take longer to cook than frozen. Canned vegetables only need to be warmed up.

  • Broth: homemade, canned, tetrapack, or boullion cubes and water. Canned tomatoes with their juice, or tomato juice can also be used as the broth.
  • Seasonings: fresh garlic, oregano, thyme, marjoram, parsley, basil, etc. Fresh or dried is good; whatever you have.
  • Vegetables: fresh, frozen or canned in a pinch. Leftovers are good too.
  • Grains: barley, rice, lentils, macaroni, broken spaghetti, etc.
  • Meats if desired: little bits are all you need; leftovers are great.

Develop your skills in creating soups and you will be able to enjoy many quick easy cheap meals. Just add toast or a quick bread and you’re set.

One great recipe to get you started

* Hamburger soup:

  • Broth: 1 large can tomatoes with juice. Cut up tomatoes. Add 8 cups beef broth.
  • Seasoning: 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 Tbsp marjoram and 1/4 tsp basil.
  • Vegetables: 4 cups total of chopped veggies. Try carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, cabbage. Whatever you have. This is your creation.
  • Grains: Try 1/2 cup barley and 1/4 cup lentils. Again, use whatever you have.
  • Meats: 1 cup leftover cooked beef or cooked hamburger.

Simmer on stove until barley is tender, 35-40 minutes. Alternatively, place in crockpot and cook on high one hour and then low for 3 hours.

Great soups make quick easy cheap meals. They are loaded with nutrition and are tasty and filling.


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