Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stone Soup

When the cold weather hits I haul out my crockpot and start making soup.

No Matter what the recipe is I usually start by adding 2 large onions, 5-6 cloves of garlic, 2 large carrots, 3 stalks of celery with the leaves and fresh parsley.     I use a small food processor for the onions, garlic, celery leaves and parsley and when I am done I rinse the bowl of the food processor with a little water to get every last bit of veggie goodness and add it to the pot. It always make me feel very frugal.   

What has saved many an otherwise ho-hum pot of soup is a jar of Better than Bouillon in my fridge.  Just add a heaping tablespoon or two and it tastes better every time.   I have given jars of it as gifts, that's how much I like it.  Somewhere I read about a woman who feels the same way about  Italian Seasoning, she said she puts it in everything and so I crush some in my hands to get the most flavor and add it too.

Next I add some type of protein - meat, barley or beans.  Beans!.  There is this awesome little Mennonite store by my Mom's house that sells all sorts of beans in bags for a very reasonable price.   I like to buy all different colors and then mix them together in tall storage jars ( it looks pretty on the shelf too).
  A friend told me that her kids will eat any soup with Red Lentils in it because they make the soup creamy.  So that is one of the beans I add to my mix.

I like that I can throw this all in the night before and let it cook on low while I sleep. 
In the morning I take a peek and if necessary add some more water and it is ready to eat by lunch.

While I was chopping up the veggies tonight I was thinking about the children's book Stone Soup.   In that story a stranger comes to a town and the people there will not share their food with him.     .  He offers to make them the best tasting soup they ever had and they are eager to try it.  He asks for the biggest pot that they have and fills it with water.  Then he adds an ordinary stone to it.   After the water has heated up he tastes it and says something like you know what this soup needs?   And proceeds to ask for first onions, then carrots and on through a list of ingredients that each of the neighbors, one by one,  runs and eagerly gets to add to the soup.  I love that they are all working together and are not aware of what this stranger is teaching them about sharing.   In the end the soup tastes just right and they are all amazed that a stone could make such good food.      It makes me realize that food is meant to be shared.

No comments: