Friday, January 28, 2011

Stone Soup: A Recipe From an Old Folk Tale

Few things in a kid's universe fascinate me more than children's stories. They can be so inspiring that they can lead to new ways to play - even in the kitchen.
The recipe below - our 200th - was developed based on the book Stone Soup, a version of the folk story retold and illustrated beautifully by Jon J. Muth, chosen by one of my son's school teacher.

So, before taking this recipe to be prepared by the group of kids in the Cooking Club at school, I tried to make it with the boys of our playgroup.  First I thought about carving chicken bouillon cubes to transform them into little stones, but that was not as easy as I imagined. So I asked Darienne if she thought they they could pretend that those cubes were stones. And she was mostly sure they could.

She was right.

During our playdate the kids got interested in the preparation of the soup and listened carefully to the old  folk tale. They were all happy to cut, chop, break and throw the ingredients in the pot of the slow cooker.  Too happy to pour a huge amount of garlic powder in the pot ... Afterward they were too busy to try it - but we did. The test here made me adjust the presentation of many of the ingredients and to make it easier to cut  and chop.

Like what happened with the Scissors Salad: Kids at the school Cooking Club  were motivated not just to contribute with one of each of the ingredients but also to eat more than two servings each. We were all so happy with all that celebration! They each had a packet of ingredients. Every step of the process was related to parts of the book, so that they could see that the soup was getting better and smelling good. I hope that this recipe is also going to make part of their childhood memory when they grow up, as the story that inspired it.

Stone Soup

I pre-cooked frozen peas and carrots to shorten the time for cooking the soup. I cooked both with water in the microwave for six minutes in high power.

8 cups boiling water
4 cubes (or "stones," if you want to pretend!) of chicken bouillon (I used one without  MSG -- monosodium glutamate -- from Herb-Ox)
1 packet instant noodles (discard soup base, use just noodles)
1 bowl instant rice noodles (discard seasoning packet)
4 mushrooms, sliced
4-6 leaves bok choy, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup firm tofu, cut in cubes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

Bring water to a boil, and add to the slow cooker, setting it on high. Add bouillon cubes and close the lid. Gradually add each ingredient, and at the end stir the soup to mix all the ingredients and help dissolve the cubes. Return pot to the slow cooker. Let it cook for about 10 minutes or until noodles are ready. Enjoy!

1 comment:

JadeDorsey said...

Love soup. and this one is so different. Wold love to try this also. Cheers!

Best Cornbread


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