The classic 1947 French tale “Stone Soup” by Marcia Brown, tells the story of three hungry soldiers visiting a village in search of food. When the soldiers were denied food by the villagers, they set about making a large pot of soup with three stones and water. The soldiers wondered if the soup might not be better with a few carrots. Hence, the villagers returned with an apron full of carrots. And what about, say, some cabbage… potatoes… barley?
The villagers contributed step by step, eventually turning that pot of stones into a wonderful meal, along with bread and cider, for the whole village.
I love that story, as it highlights how a few rustic ingredients from the garden can nourish the mind, body and soul. After all, is there anything quite as good as a hearty, vegetable-based soup? The story also shares the message of how you can make magic with ingredients that you have on hand.
Soup has always been the perfect medium for using up the vegetables available in your garden, refrigerator, freezer or pantry. Feel free to swap the vegetables listed in the ingredients list with what you have on hand, whether it’s broccoli, cauliflower, or kale, and you can also trade barley for another whole grain, such as sorghum, brown rice or quinoa. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, substitute 1 tablespoon of dried herbs.
This vegetable soup, filled with summer produce, lentils, barley, and herbs, is inspired by the classic Stone Soup recipe. Topped with home-made whole grain croutons and fresh herbs, it can be the centerpiece of your meal.
Cook it up in a slow-cooker to make it even easier. Pair it with a salad and some whole grain bread, and you have a satisfying meal packed with disease-protective nutrients.
Here’s the full recipe: Vegetable Stone Soup
Thanks to Sharon Palmer for guest blogging and recipe
Sharon Palmer, RDN, The PlantPowered Dietitian, is a Los Angeles-based, award-winning food and nutrition writer, plant-based food expert, and author of Plant-Powered for Life and The Plant-Powered Blog.