Sharon shared a simple, and simply delicious, recipe for an Italian Pasta soup with me the other day. I made it on Saturday night. As I was putting the ingredients in the pot, I was thinking about the Oak Park Farmers Market I visited earlier in the day and the stone soup that would be made by a local restaurant with ingredients supplied by the vendors; carrots, turnips, beans, parsley, thyme, whatever is still being harvested come October 30. They call their final market Stone Soup and hand out cups of soup to patrons, first come, first serve.
An article I read on Oak Park’s Farmers Market’s Stone Soup said the soup is ready at 9 am – and the pot is usually empty by 10! Imagine. Hot, tasty soup on a crisp, maybe even cold, late October morn with the freshest of ingredients served outdoors. Can you see the steam rising from the cup?
Do you know the story? It is old, very old, and comes as a folk tale with variations from many countries; France, Russia, Japan, Portugal, to name just a few. The basic story is that someone(s) come into a village, hungry, tired, perhaps poor, and ask for some food, usually carrying a big empty pot. The villagers refuse to feed them until the crafty soldiers or monk or whomever the protagonist is, set the pot on a fire, put water in the pot and add a stone or an axe or a nail, and proceed to make soup, admitting it would be so much better with seasoning. No matter who tells the story, no matter what language is spoken, a villager always offers up a carrot or potato or turnip to sweeten the pot. Not to be outdone, others ante up with whatever they have and sure as rain a tasty soup is quickly simmering and all are fed, especially the crafty fellow who wandered into the village that day.
Sharon’s recipe was outstanding and we have leftovers for another day. She and I are always sharing recipes and my life is more flavorful is so many ways for knowing her.
I was thinking about stone soup while the pot of Italian Pasta soup started to boil. I was pondering how much better our world would be if we each started a pot of stone soup to share with folks who are hungry or weary. Don’t you agree?
What ingredient would you give to a stone soup today?