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« Some Spooky Treats for Halloween | Main | A Dessert That’s Just Enough »

Stone Soup

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

The story, as I recall it, is about a poor and hungry itinerant peddler who arrives at a village to proclaim he can make soup from a stone. Fascinated, the villagers gather and watch as a fire is lit, a caldron is suspended over the flames, water is added and the stone is plopped into the caldron….

But wait, the peddler says. The soup would be better with some carrots. So one of the villagers brings some carrots to add to the pot. You know where this story goes. The soup would be better with some onions, meat and so forth, until a magnificent broth results.

My soup isn’t made with a stone, but with ingredients that are just as unsavory—the still-good, dribs and drabs from your product drawer that without attention, will end up in your compost bin.

Stone Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 cups assorted vegetables, cut in ½-inch cubes
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) lower sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
1/3 cup broken spaghetti (2-inch pieces)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook, stirring, until they are lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and spaghetti, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender and spaghetti is cooked.

Makes 4 soup servings or 2 main dish servings.


  • Some good vegetable choices for your soup: onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, cauliflower florets, zucchini and cabbage.
  • You can add any kind of pasta instead of the spaghetti, but don’t add more than 1/3 cup because the pasta will absorb a lot of the soup liquid as it cooks.
  • Just before serving, top soup with shredded Parmesan cheese.
  • If you have leftover chicken or beef, you can cube and add to the soup when adding the liquids.
  • Add dried thyme or basil or some minced garlic while the soup is simmering.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley.

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