Dinner is pretty simple at our house – something easy with lots of veggies. We make a lot of this stone soup. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in the kitchen and to focus on using what you have.
The story of stone soup is based on an old French tale where three hungry soldiers trick the inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast. But we prefer a version where a lonely traveler sets up shop in the middle of a town square and begins to boil a stone in a pot of water. As people walk by they ask what he is making. And he tells them that it’s stone soup and so delicious, but what would really make it wonderful is some carrots, and then an onion, and so on as people walk by. In the end the village has come together to create a fantastic meal from nothing all by working together.
The story is lovely, but the fact that it’s so ridiculously easy is what makes this soup a win at our house. We make ours vegetarian, but you could easily add chicken, pork, or anything you’d like.
How to Make Stone Soup
Gather up the veggies and supplies you have. Today we used vegetable stock, canned plum tomatoes (these are a favorite as they make the soup a little sweeter), celery, potatoes, an onion, carrots, kale, and some quinoa (which I cook separately and add in when serving). Sometimes we add green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach…truly it’s whatever you have in the house. I sometimes just use water if I find we’re out of stock – really this one you can make up as you go along. [See the full recipe at the bottom of the post.]
I start by chopping up all the veggies – I like large, rustic pieces and usually just tear the kale or spinach. Then add the broth, canned plum tomatoes, and vegetables to a large stock pot.
Bring the soup to a good boil. And then cover and reduce to a simmer. I usually let this simmer while working with kids on homework or just hanging out for a bit. If I make it on the weekends, I let it simmer for a few hours because it makes the house smell amazing. Really just cook it long enough for your potatoes and carrots (if you’re using them) to cook through – about 35 minutes. I add salt and pepper to taste, but you could easily add other spices or seasonings to make this soup your own.
I like to add quinoa to our soup for texture and a complete protein. I’ve tried adding it right to the soup, but it’s kind of greedy and drinks up all the stock. So I make mine in a separate pan. Follow the directions on the package, or better yet, check out this video of David Lynch cooking quinoa. So great!
And that’s it. You’ve made a tasty, healthy dinner that can serve 6-8 or provide lots of leftovers. We’re picky about leftovers but this one never goes to waste.
Have you made this soup? What are the staples you always include in yours? Tell me in the comments because my kiddos would probably like some variety here!
(2) containers of vegetable stock (or chicken, beef, or 6 cups of water)
(1) 28oz. can of Plum Tomatoes (diced or fresh tomatoes are fine, too, but I love the liquid and sweetness these create)
(5) carrots, chopped
(1) medium yellow onion, chopped in large pieces
(6) celery stalks, chopped
(5) medium sized potatoes – yellow or red, chopped
(1) large bunch of kale, torn – frozen will work, too!
(2) cups of quinoa
(4) cups of water
(1) tsp Seasalt – give or take
(1) tsp Black Pepper – to taste
- Clean and chop vegetables. I cut mine into large, rustic pieces.
- Add vegetable stock, plum tomatoes, and all vegetables into a large stock pot.
- Bring soup to a rolling boil. Then reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 35 minutes to 2 hours depending on when you want to serve.
- 20 minutes before serving: In a separate pan, add 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil.Boils quickly, so keep an eye on it. Then cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add quinoa to the bottom of your bowl. Ladle soup over the quinoa.
- Eat & enjoy!