Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stone Soup - Go Ahead Honey - Dishes from Childhood Stories

I was so excited about this months Go Ahead Honey - and then life took over and I missed the submission date! Zoe, of Z's Cup of Tea hosted with the theme of Food from Children's Stories. 

Years ago, right at the beginning of my blog journey, I wrote a post about the cake from Lazy Jack. A story I used to read to Finn when he was small. It's some crazy cake!



This time, I wanted to find something that wasn't cake or bread based and boy did I struggle! There's baked goods a plenty in the stories I had as a kid, or those that I read to my smallest sister and finally to Finn - but not much primal fare!

Then I remembered Stone Soup - an old tale with many tellings, but our version was refashioned by Tony Ross. It goes like this...

A hen is singled out to become a wolf's supper, but through her own ingenuity she avoids being gobbled up by offering him a bowl of stone soup. He is so intrigued that he agrees to put off the meat course for a bowl of this magic broth. The hen plops a large stone into a pot of boiling water and they wait, chatting companionably as it bubbles away for a while. The hen then proceeds to taste the soup and suggest that it still needs a little something - maybe some onion? Then a little celery and carrot and maybe a potato? Until finally she has included all the ingredients for a great soup that will fill up the wolf, so he has no room for hen on top. Hurrah!




Stone soup it is. I thought it would be fun to make a soup that started with a stone and then add lots of lovely things to it. Many people automatically start making a soup by frying some onions or leek in fat and then add everything else. But it's just as good to make your soup by heating stock, or water and adding all your flavoursome ingredients afterwards. Make sure that there is some fat (and maybe bone or skin) in the meat that you use and the soup will be rich and satisfying.



Stone Soup (enough to fill four wolves)
Make this with your children - it will intrigue them into tasting what stone soup is like!



1 large smooth clean stone 
4 medium organic carrots
1 red or brown-skin onion - or half a leek
2 sticks celery
legs and wings of a free range/organic guinea fowl or chicken
1/2 head of broccoli (calabrese)
1 mug of frozen peas
500ml stock
500ml of water
2 pinches of Celtic sea salt
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 bay leaves

Heat water and stock in a largeish saucepan and when it's hot, gently lower the lovely fat stone in.

Dice, celery, onion and carrot. Cut the legs at the joint and add it all to the pan.

Add salt, vinegar and bay leaves, bring to a simmer and clap a lid on for an hour - or up to two.

Take out the meat and pick it off the bone. Adding it evenly to four soup bowls.

Break or cut broccoli into small florettes and add to the pot. Bring back to the boil and let simmer until 60% cooked.

Add peas, bring back up to the boil and simmer for just a few minutes, so the peas and broccoli are still bright green and al denté.

Season to taste with black pepper and more salt if needed.

Take out the stone and serve the soup.

Magic!