Once upon a time, somewhere in post-war Eastern Europe, there was a great famine in which people jealously hoarded whatever food they could find, hiding it even from their friends and neighbors. One day a wandering soldier came into a village and began asking questions as if he planned to stay for the night.  “There’s not a bite to eat in the whole province,” he was told. “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 wagon, filled it with water, and built a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.

By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come to the square or watched from their windows. As the soldier sniffed the “broth” and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their skepticism.

“Ahh,” the soldier 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 cabbage he’d retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot. “Capital!” cried the soldier. “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 all. The villagers offered the soldier a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell and traveled on the next day. The moral is that by working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved.

4 fresh tomatoes
1 lb. Italian sausage (bite size pieces)
1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce
7 c. beef stock
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. barley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. sliced carrots
1 tsp. basil
1/4 cup italian parsley
1 tsp. oregano
2 c. sliced zucchini
1 c. fresh mushrooms
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 c. green peas
2 c. frozen tortellini

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large pot and simmer 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer an additional hour, adding more water as necessary to cook tortellini. Of course, you must have a proper stone in the bottom of the pot to make it authentic Stone Soup. Apparently quartz is a good choice, as it doesn’t break down.  Makes 10 servings.

The Story of Stone Soup was provided by www.extremelinux.info

The passion for Stone Soup was provided by Tiddly Cove Montessori School.A beautiful book that we recommend is: Stone Soup, published by Scholastic and written by Jon J. Muth.