With stone soup, a stirring tale, a satisfying ending


January 06, 1993|By Beth Hillson | Beth Hillson,Contributing Writer

Remember the fairy tale about a soldier who was travelin home from the wars and had nothing to eat? Hungering for a hot meal, the clever man convinced the people of a local village that he could make soup from a stone. He placed the stone in a pot of water while the townspeople watched with interest. As the water boiled, he announced that the soup would taste even better with a little salt . . . a piece of meat . . . a few carrots . . . and so on. Each time he mentioned a kind of food, a villager would fetch it.

Finally, the soup was ready to eat, and what a hearty and delicious soup it was. When everyone had feasted, the soldier reached into the pot and pulled out the stone, presenting it to the townspeople so they could repeat the recipe! If you use a stone to make this recipe, remember to wash it first and be sure to present it to the head of your household when you've finished. However, this soup is just as tasty if you skip the stone part!

Words of caution: Always peel vegetables by pushing peeler away from you. And don't be tempted to plop cubed vegetables and meat into the hot broth; use a large spoon or ladle to lower them into liquid so no one gets splashed.

Stone soup

This soup takes 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. It can be made one day before it's served, but keep it in the refrigerator and reheat it just before eating. It makes 8 large bowls of soup.

You'll need: large pot or saucepan (8-10 cups), ladle, sharp knife, cutting board and large spoon

6 cups beef broth (canned is fine)

1/2 pound stew beef cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

1 small onion, peeled and chopped ( 1/2 cup)

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

1/2 cup each: frozen cut corn, green peas and cut green beans

1 small can tomatoes with juice

Pour the beef broth into the pot and place it on a burner turned to medium high. When broth begins to boil, lower in spoonfuls of the beef cubes, onion, carrot slices, rice and potatoes. Let the broth come to a boil again. Cover the pot, turn heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, covered.

Next add the frozen vegetables by spoonfuls, then add the can of tomatoes. Use the back of the spoon to gently break the tomatoes into pieces. Cover and let the soup come to a simmer. (Using a pot holder, check under the lid after 5 minutes to see if there are little bubbles in the liquid.) Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and serve.

RTC This soup is hearty enough to be a complete meal. Just add a loaf of crusty French bread.

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