Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bedtime Stories & Stone Soup

     Do you remember story time as a kid?  Do you remember mom or dad reading a story to you while you were all snuggled in bed in your pajamas?  I have always loved books, they were a huge part of my world as a kid.  I still go to bed every night reading, I hope children still have books as a part of their life.  In my community recently there have been literacy drives to get books into the homes of underprivileged kids.  This is a cause near and dear to my heart so I was involved in this endeavor.  I know how books helped shape my life and how much I love them, I definitely want every child to have the same opportunities that I had.  One of my favorite bedtime stories was a Portuguese fable, Stone Soup.  I love that story and how it teaches about working together to achieve a common goal.  It really does show how great things can be accomplished if we all work together.  Also in this story stone soup brings the town together.  Food does have the capacity to bring people together, it helps us to build memories.  What foods bring your loved ones together?  What was your favorite bedtime story?  I took the story one step further and made a recipe to go along with the story for your very own stone soup.  Enjoy!

Stone Soup

A kindly, old stranger was walking through the land when he came upon a village. As he entered, the villagers moved towards their homes locking doors and windows. The stranger smiled and asked, why are you all so frightened. I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal.

"There's not a bite to eat in the whole province," he was told. "We are weak and our children are starving. Better keep moving on."

"Oh, I have everything I need," he said. "In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you." He pulled an iron cauldron from his cloak, filled it with water, and began to build a fire under it.

Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a silken bag and dropped it into the water.

By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come out of their homes or watched from their windows. As the stranger sniffed the "broth" and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their fear.

"Ahh," the stranger said to himself rather loudly, "I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage -- that's hard to beat."

Soon a villager approached hesitantly, holding a small cabbage he'd retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot.

"Wonderful!!" cried the stranger. "You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salt beef as well, and it was fit for a king."

The village butcher managed to find some salt beef . . . and so it went, through potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was indeed a delicious meal for everyone in the village to share.

The villager elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the stone, but he refused to sell it and traveled on the next day.

As he left, the stranger came upon a group of village children standing near the road. He gave the silken bag containing the stone to the youngest child, whispering to a group, it was not the stone, but the villagers that had performed the magic."

Portuguese Stone Soup


8 cups chicken stock
1 pound chorizo
1 15 1/4-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced
1/2 medium head green cabbage, coarsely chopped (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 pound turnips, peeled, diced
2 leeks (white parts), chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 1/2 cup green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cup corn
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soup is thick, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

Sandy - Everyday Southwest said...

I love that story! Thanks for making the soup recipe that I say I'm going to make every time I tell the story... but never take the time to do it:)