French Weekends with Dorie: Stone Soup (aka Spur-of-the-Moment Vegetable Soup)

Stone soup –  we have all heard in one form of another the folk tale of the traveling family that arrives to a village with an empty cooking pot.  The family finds some water, fills the pot and drops a stone into it.  They start a fire and set the pot down, the steam attracting curious onlookers.

“What are you making”.
“Oh, just some stone soup.  It’s really delicious, but I think it needs a little something extra. Would you have some _____ you could spare.”

Multiply that exchange several times over, and the traveling family ends up with a delicious soup filled all sorts of vegetables, which is shared by all who contributed to it.

Fast forward to this week – I’m late to meet our French Fridays deadline with this recipe.  However, reading through this week’s posts gives me a great deal of ideas on how to make this stone soup really special.  Here are some of the stones some of my fellow Doristas dropped unknowingly in my red Dutch Oven:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (Mary)
  • Collard greens (Elaine)
  • Bacon fat for sautéing the vegetables (Lizzy)

My own special addition was the backbone of the chicken we spatchcocked last week, instead of using store-bought stock or plain water.  A ham bone or hock would have also made a delicious addition, especially with the collards.  If I were to make a 100% vegetarian/vegan version, I would have gone overboard with the thyme and rosemary.

The little cluster of greens on top of the soup is purslane (verdolaga), one of my current food obsessions (and currently growing in the balcony).  This little weed is packed with Omega-3s, folic acid, vitamins and minerals.  “My” farmer Daniella told me to take the leftover little nub with roots still attached and just place it in the ground.  It was one of the three ‘balcony crops’ that survived while we were out on vacation!  If you have the chance, try it.  Its neutral taste makes it a great addition to many dishes.

Check out the great versions of stone soup prepared by the members of French Fridays with Dorie, our online cooking group where we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

9 Responses to “French Weekends with Dorie: Stone Soup (aka Spur-of-the-Moment Vegetable Soup)”

  1. October 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Ha – I like the “virtual” stones that were added to your soup.
    I am intrigued by the purslane – I have heard of it, but never had the chance to come across it….

  2. October 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Love how the Doristas helped you fill your pot! I have purslane growing in the cracks of the path to my back door (not intentionally). It’s been frosted and gone now, but I’ll have to take a bite when it’s bound to come back in the spring.

  3. October 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Beautifully done! I love all your tweaks…and your garnish is just lovely!!!

  4. October 22, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    so sweet of you to give those “credits” to your fellow soupers. I was wondering what that green garnish was!

  5. October 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Okay, I have heard of purslane and have seen it but have never grown or used it. I will be in Nevada for the Winter and think it may thrive with our winters. I’ll report back if I’m successful or not. I like all your additions and I made a note of the collard greens and bacon also. Instead of making Lemonade out of Lemons this week, we’ve made Soup out of Stones!

    October 24, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    I wish I had a bowl right now…it is cold and rainy…


  7. October 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    I love that you combines a bunch of people’s ideas in this! Crowdsourcing indeed!


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