I am deeply honored that this post is featured in the Holiday Roundup at Oprah.com.
During the past few weeks, my son’s class has been reading various versions of Stone Soup. In case you don’t know the story, it is an old French tale about three hungry soldiers who use trickery to convince the inhabitants of a village to provide them with the ingredients for a feast. At first, the villagers were afraid, but they were intrigued by the soldiers, who told them that they were going to prepare soup out of stones. After the soldiers hinted that the soup would be better with a few vegetables, each villager went home and returned with something to contribute, resulting in a feast that they all enjoyed together.
Yesterday, the last day before Thanksgiving break, each student in the class brought one of the ingredients needed to make Stone Soup. Everyone got cooking, and with some collaboration, they created a feast. I couldn’t think of anything more suitable for my son’s class to make this time of the year. It provided the kids with a real life lesson of how a little cooperation can go a long way…and could yield something to be truly grateful for.
Serves a class of 22
1 small round, smooth stone
2 cans corn
2 cans kidney beans
1 can green beans
6 medium potatoes
1 bunch celery
8 large carrots
1 yellow onion
1/2 cup barley
1.5 cups macaroni
12 cans chicken broth
- With adult helpers, have children chop all ingredients. A food chopper makes things much more safe (and fun!) for the kids.
- Saute onion, celery and carrot in olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot.
- Have children open all of the cans, draining the liquid when appropriate.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the soup pot, except the barley and macaroni.
- Add 6-8 cans of water.
- Let simmer for 2 hours and then add the barley and macaroni.
- Continue simmering for an additional 2 hours and then serve.
- Instead of adding the stone to the soup, each student can pass the stone around during the feast. When they get the stone, they can say what they are grateful for.