Monday, August 13, 2012

Ever made Stone Soup? It's delicious.

from Google Images

Ever made stone soup? Here's a summary of the story, from Wikipedia:
Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers persuade local people of a town to give them food. It is usually told as a lesson in cooperation, especially amid scarcity. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as button soupwood soupnail soup, and axe soup. In the Aarne-Thompson folktale classification system it is type 1548.[1]
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. Then the travellers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. 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 flavour, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that 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.

My granddaughter and I love to read this book together, and when I saw a board game based on the story, I bought it for her birthday (Peaceable Kingdom/Stone Soup Cooperative Game). It’s a picture matching game, non-competitive (you can even help each other) and the goal is to find all the soup ingredients, including the magic stone, before the fire goes out. Then I decided we should make our own Stone Soup, and enlisted her dad in the project. We got into the spirit of the story and took the parts of various characters as we added ingredients to the basic stone (a piece of smooth polished glass, easy to clean and too big to swallow) and water. Our soup ingredients: boullion, ground beef, carrots, potatoes, frozen corn, frozen peas, small white beans, tomatoes, celery, onions, a handful of pasta, tomato-based vegetable juice, and a pinch of brown sugar. The soup was delicious, and memorable, too. 

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