Stone Soup: Community Comfort Food

Stone Soup: Community Comfort Food

Are you familiar with Stone Soup? I had never heard of it, but when I asked Sarah B. if she was interested in blogging about it, of course she knew just what to do! Sarah wrote about some of her favorite football foods last month, but she’s not just about appetizers! Stone Soup is a great way to bring friends and family together, and Sarah’s got all the answers as to what Stone Soup is and how you can go about making it. Take it away, Sarah!

You’ve heard the Stone Soup story, right? Some travelers carrying a pot happen upon a village, and they ask the villagers for some food. The residents say they don’t have anything to spare, so the travelers tell the people that they’re going to make a delicious soup out of water and a single stone. They mention throughout the “cooking” process that it would be just wonderful if they had an onion, and maybe a potato to add, and the villagers all come up with bits and pieces to add to the soup and, in the end, everyone comes together to make a delicious soup for everyone to share.

I’m under the impression that Stone Soup would be an excellent theme for a dinner party – assign everyone an ingredient, throw everything in a pot, and let it cook while you have some drinks and swap some stories. Also, though, it’s a great mentality to have when you want to make something great for dinner, and don’t have an actual plan, but you do have some beef. And some beef stock. And maybe an onion or two.

For me, my Stone Soup moment didn’t come from all my neighbors rallying together to make dinner or even from a dig through the cabinets. Instead, it came from my step-daughter, Kelly, who wanted to make soup, and who had a list of ingredients she thought maybe should go in it…but that was about it.

She handed me a list that said: Onions, carrots, cabbage, beef, celery, potatoes, salt, lemon pepper, beef stock. OK, cool. We were going to Stone Soup this thing. Gather a bunch of stuff. Throw it in a pot. Cross our fingers and let it all boil.

The soup turned out really, really well, and we had enough to eat for a few days, since it was just the three of us.

When you’re making this, against all cooking advice ever given, don’t chop or dice everything ahead of time. Do each after you put the previous ingredient in. If you decide to have people over for this soup and they bring ingredients, have them chop up their own contribution! The point of Stone Soup is that it’s a community effort, so why not bring that into your own kitchen?

Beef and Vegetable “Stone” Soup

  • 50 oz. beef broth or stockSoup meat 300
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 lbs. stew beef
  • 5 red potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • ½ head of cabbage
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Stone Soup 4Place a large stock pot on a burner on high. Add your beef stock and diced tomatoes with juice.
Cut up your beef and add it to the pot.
Dice your potatoes, onion, and celery and add those to the pot. If at this point your mixture is boiling rapidly, turn the heat down a little, to medium-high.
Chop your cabbage and add to the pot.
Add your lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then check the doneness of the meat. (It should be at least 160°F.) If it’s cooked through, move on to the next step. If not, continue to simmer until the meat is done.
Taste your soup and add additional spices if desired.
Chop your green onions and add them to the pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Serve hot (with crusty bread, if you’ve got it!).

Bowl of Soup 300

Sarah Buchanan is a cookbook addict and Riesling aficionado living in Southern California. Even though it’s on hiatus at the moment, her blog,, tells the story of her attempts to cook out of every cookbook in her massive collection.

Printer friendly recipe: Stone Soup

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