Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Stone Soup: The Basics of Making Soups

My sister recently sent an email with a recipe she created using ingredients from her pantry. It just so happened “stone soup” was on our menu that night. So, it got me thinking about how easy it is to whip up a simple, good for you, quick pot of soup.

Mason and I read the book Stone Soup last week at school. The premise of the book is a weary traveler stopped at the home of an old woman asking her for food. She snobbishly turned him away telling him she did not have any food in the house or garden. Before she could close the door he asked her for a stone from her yard. Confused she questioned him why would he want a stone. He told her to make stone soup. Intrigued the old woman obliged him with a pot and as the story goes on she offered him the vegetables needed to make the soup fit for a king. Like the stone soup in the story every soup starts with a base of water with vegetables or meat for flavoring.

Stock can be made up of chicken, vegetable or beef broths. It can be creamy, with flour or cream. A tomato base comprised of bits of tomato or tomato puree. Soups may also be thick or thin. The flavoring comes from a variety of herbs, seasonings, vegetables and fats from meat or butter.

* A general guideline when using fresh herbs in a recipe is to use 3 times as much as you would use of a dried herb. 1/4 teaspoon of a dried herb for a recipe that serves 4.

Allison’s Pantry Taco Style Soup:
Canned Goods- kidney beans, corn, carrots, french cut green beans, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
Add to browned meat with garlic and onions. Add taco seasoning and top with sour cream and cheese.

This is my clean out the refrigerator and pantry version of Minestrone Soup:
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup bell pepper
1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
1 carrot, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 oz Italian sausage or panchetta
1 cup onions
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups broth, beef or chicken
2 cans diced tomatoes, puree one or both cans
1 can garbanzo beans

Heat oil in a pot; add peppers, brussels sprouts, celery and carrots. Let brown slightly then remove. Add sausage onions and garlic. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Add the parsley and basil. Toss.
Add broth, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Simmer 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the garbanzo beans. Simmer 5 minutes. To serve, top with Parmesan cheese.