Cook by the book

Stone Soup

Stone Soup is a story about building community. A version of the story exists in just about every culture.

When we started to film “Stone Soup” Belle read through the story of how the monks had visited the village and said, “In order to make Stone Soup, we need villagers.” So she rounded up the neighbors and we reenacted the book – to a point. Unfortunately, before the soup was done everyone had to go home to eat their own dinner and do their homework.

You can do a bit more planning than we did. Have a Stone Soup party and ask your neighbors to each bring something for the soup. Food is a great way to cement friendships.

NOTE: Please don’t use real stones because you don’t know what kind of minerals they have inside. It might be something you really don’t want to eat!

Stone Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 10 Cooking Time: 1 hours


  • 3 "stones" (small whole potatoes - scrubbed with their skins left on)
  • 4 cups of organic chicken stock
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger - peeled and shredded
  • 4 dried black mushrooms Ð soaked in warm water
  • 4 ounces of chicken or pork - cut in very thin strips
  • 1/2 cup of snow pea pods
  • 1 cup of Chinese cabbage - shredded
  • 1 small can of bamboo shoots - drained
  • 1 slab of bean curd - cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper - optional
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar - optional
  • 1 green onion - sliced thin



Soak the dried black mushrooms in warm water for at least and hour. It's better if you let them soak overnight. Have your aunt or whoever is helping you slice them into 1/4 inch strips.


Just before you are ready to start the soup, heat the chicken stock in the medium-sized pot until it boils.


Begin the soup by putting the potatoes in the bottom of the pot.


Tell your guests the story of Stone Soup.


Have your adult helper pour the hot broth over the "stones."


Now add the onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, black mushrooms and meat.


Turn the heat on to medium and bring the soup to a boil. Stir the soup once in a while so the meat doesn't stick together. Be careful. Don't stand too near the flame.


When the meat has turned from pink to beige, lower the heat to simmer.


Now you can add the more delicate vegetables: snow pea pods, shredded cabbage, bamboo shoots and the bean curd. Cook for about 7 minutes.


Add the soy sauce and the sesame seed oil. Stir gently so you don't break up the bean curd.


Mix the corn starch and the water in a cup until it is smooth.


Drizzle the corn starch mixture into the soup. You can ask your adult helper to please stir while you pour the mixture a little at a time.


Next, do the same thing with the egg. The hot soup will cook the egg as it falls into the water, so just pour a little swirl of egg in at a time.


If you would like Hot and Sour Soup, now is the time to make the soup spicy by adding the pepper and vinegar.


Finally, stir in the green onion.


Serve the soup immediately.


Without the pepper and vinegar, this recipe makes a very mild soup. You can spice up individual bowls by putting in a dash or two of white pepper and a little bit of rice wine vinegar in each one. We suggest you put the bottle of soy sauce out on the table and let everyone adjust the flavor in their own soup.


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