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.