Stone Soup

A classic childhood fable can be revisited in your kitchen.

You can’t squeeze blood from a stone and, honestly, you can’t squeeze soup from it either. But just as in the children’s tale Stone Soup,where everyone in the village contributed a small something to a communal pot, you can achieve a full meal from what might have been mistaken for an empty fridge.

 

What You Need

  • 6-12 qt stock pot
  • A week’s worth of veggie scraps (see below)
  • Additional seasonings to taste: chopped garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, caramelized onions (for color)
  • Leftovers (see below)

 

How To

  1. Collect and save your vegetable scraps for up to one week in an air-tight, refrigerated container. All of the following can be used, according to taste: potato and carrot peelings (washed, of course), onion skins, tomato butts, celery ends, garlic nubs, cabbage leaves, squash skins, chopped broccoli stems, mushroom stems, herb stems, and the remnants of anything vaguely rooty (turnips, sweet potatoes, beets, etc).
  2. Add your additional seasonings and if you have a hamhock or chicken bones you can throw them in too, but it’s just as good vegetarian.
  3. Add ingredients to stockpot of water, bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for a full hour. Strain veggie scraps out with a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or colander. You can store the resultant broth in the fridge for at least another week before using.
  4. Consider your leftovers. Good options for soup include rice, beans, pasta, salsa, cooked greens, and even stir-fried vegetables. Toast old ends of bread for croutons, or use toasted squash seeds, cheese remnants, or herb ends for garnish. And when someone asks you what you had for dinner and you tell them “stone soup,” don’t forget to savor the moment, as well as the (practically free) soup.

 

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