The traveler, being a quick-witted guy, unpacked his cooking pot and filled it with water, along with a large stone, from a nearby stream. He then returned to the town square and built a fire under his pot.
The curious town folks came by. “What are you cooking?”
The traveler stirred his pot. “Stone soup. I”ll let you have a bowl when it’s done. But it would taste better with some cabbage.”
“I have a head of cabbage.” A woman ran home to fetch it.
The traveler stirred the soup again. “It would taste better with a few potatoes….”
Eventually each of the town folks brought a little of this and a little of that and the soup turned into a tasty stew.
This story crossed my mind as I peered into our refrigerator. Not that there was a lack of food, but that it contained a little of this and a little of that, and most needed to be eaten soon or it would go bad.
Why not make stone soup, minus the stone. And I could add a few things from the freezer that were ready to get freezer-burned. The food combination would be a bit strange, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I pulled a container of chicken broth out of the freezer along with mashed squash, mashed pumpkin, and cooked turkey. From the fridge came sauerkraut, sweet potatoes, onions, and avocado. I found beans and rice in the pantry.
I added a few spices for extra flavor: rosemary, ginger, parsley, turmeric, and dry ranch dressing.
The soup simmered on the stove for several hours. I ladled some into a bowl and ate it with homemade bread. To my surprise, the odd food combo had turned into one of the best tasting stews I’ve ever eaten. The flavors meshed into a delicious blend. Yum, yum!
I’m sad to say the soup cannot be duplicated. Nothing was measured, and I don’t remember what all went into it.
But I guess that’s the attraction of stone soup, never the same twice and always a surprise.