Last night, I hosted my very first stone soup dinner party. It was amazing, the food was delicious and everyone had a great time! There will definitely be another one in the works shortly!
Stone soup is based on an old folk story that has taken on many incarnations. Overall, the point is cooperation…sharing the little bit you have with everyone else, and they do the same.
No one goes without.
The story was first brought to my attention via a song sung by Heather Dale, which is predictably called Stone Soup.
The chorus goes like this:
The stone is in the kettle
The water’s on the boil,
The work is always lighter,
When there’s many hands to toil!
I had eight friends over last night and the work most definitely was lighter! We took turns in the kitchen, prepping ingredients, and we ended up with an absolutely amazing soup!
So, how did we structure this Stone Soup extravaganza?
I invited some friends over for dinner and asked them all to bring at least one ingredient to put in a soup. It could have been anything: vegetable, spice, fruit, meat. But everyone had to bring something. I had a few people ask about the *kind* of soup we were making and I didn’t limit it at all, but I could see the benefit to telling people whether you were thinking about a stew or a thicker creamy soup or a broth based veggie soup.
Ours worked out with no limitations.
About an hour before my friends were due to arrive, I filled my soup pot halfway with water and a couple of bouillon cubes and brought it to a boil. It’s hard to tell by the picture how much water I used but there had to be 12+ cups in there.
While the water heated, I sautéed some onions, celery, carrots and garlic, which were added to the pot once it started boiling.
I also added a few bay leaves.
A Stone Soup party is an awesome way to get rid of any excess of leftover vegetables you have in your kitchen. Before everyone arrived, I pulled out a bunch of rogue veggies from my fridge that were obviously on their way out. Perfect soup fodder!
So, what else got added to our soup?
In addition to these ingredients, we also added 3 or 4 red skinned potatoes, dried oregano, dried thyme, fresh chopped watercress, salt and pepper.
Oh and we can’t forget the final ingredient that we added about 15 mins before serving the soup….
I would never have thought of it myself and I admit, I raised an eyebrow.
But the point of the soup was to be open to all sorts of ingredients and in the end, the pear was pretty damn good!
We also had freshly picked and dried hot peppers from a friend’s garden that were diced up and place on the table for those of us wanting more of a kick.
The finished soup was incredible!
It had this really lovely smooth and savoury start that seemed to come from the pears and yet it ended on a high note with a light spicy kick from the sausage.
Everyone loved it and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t purchase some plastic containers so everyone could take some soup home.
Due to the amount of invitees and ingredients, there was a LOT of soup leftover!
The other nice thing about the Stone Soup party is that everyone took turns in the kitchen, which you can see in the above pictures. There was no ONE host running around taking care of everyone. Each person pitched in and helped!
Even little Sam hung out in the kitchen with us!
It was a great time that really brought all of us together. The soup was a communal creation and it was almost more satisfying just due to that fact!
I will definitely be hosting another of these parties soon!
And hey, maybe next time we’ll actually put a stone in the pot!
STONE SOUP w/SAUSAGE
So, I will do my best to summarize how we made the soup…but obviously measured amounts and exactness are non-existent, due to the very nature of Stone Soup!
a mass amount of water
two vegetable bouillon cubes
Bring to a boil.
1-2 onions, chopped
3+ carrots, chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
a few garlic cloves
Sautéed until soft and then add to the boiling water along with 3 bay leaves.
a bowlful of cooked green lentils
Add directly to the broth.
Andouille sausages, two packs
leeks, two stalks chopped
Sautéed each of these separately and add to the broth.
3-4 red skin potatoes, chopped, skins left on
1 acorn squash peeled and chopped
red lentils, a good sized handful
Add all these to the broth.
4 bartlett pears, seeded and chopped
Add these about 15 mins before serving.
Lastly, spice to taste with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.