This post was guest written by Therese Kay.

What is Stone Soup?

Stone Soup is created from “nothing.”  Several variations of this old folk tale exist, but here’s the gist:  A couple of hungry travelers venture upon a town asking for food.  The townspeople refuse to feed them, claiming that all their food has been eaten or needed.  The travelers convince the town to feed them by making stone soup.  They build a fire and ask for a pot.  Filling the pot with water and a stone, they proceed to “cook.”  At this point, he travelers say, “It’s wonderful and we’ll share!  We just need a few things to make it delicious.”  A carrot, some seasonings, a bit of potato… you get it.  Remove the stone, and – Voila!  Soup!  The travelers tricked the villagers into sharing their food and they created a tasty and nutritious soup to share with everyone.

Assess Your Soup Pot

Hungry for some soup?  A tasty and nutritious life?  Let’s get busy!  Yes, you may only have a stupid stone and you’ll have to use one of your precious spoons to do it, but the results will be worth it!

First, what’s in your soup pot?  Just that stupid stone?  Mystery ingredients?  Gross stuff?

Take a full inventory.  Be sure to scour all of your “shelves.”  You probably have ingredients hidden about that could make life pretty tasty.  

  • Skills?  
  • Resources?  
  • Friends and family?  
  • Medical team?  

List them all.  Sometimes we forget about some ingredients.  The limit of what you can add to your soup is your imagination – and the imaginations of the people who we allow to add to our soup!

Get Others to Add Ingredients

In order to make a nice soup, we need a bit of help.  Very few of us have all of the ingredients we need to make the tastiest most nutritious soup to feed ourselves.  How can you convince the villagers of your life to share their ingredients?  Remember, in the fable, the travelers didn’t simply rely on the villagers’ curiosity, the said what they needed!

So, the best way to get those ingredients? Get cooking with what you have!  Build the fire, put on the pot, plop in the stone.  The villagers will be curios. Likely, they will begin offering what they have to add to your soup.  Don’t be afraid to make suggestions – ask for what you want and need.  If you want a carrot, ask for a carrot.  

The best way to get help is to start helping ourselves and then inviting others.  Action begets action.  

How Do We Keep Out Unwanted Ingredients?

Uh-oh.  Here comes a villager with a big old bundle of dandelion greens to add to the soup.  This chronic babe here, hates dandelion greens.  I mean, really.  Please, do not put dandelion greens in my soup.  I may be a hungry traveler, but I’m not THAT hungry!

Of course you appreciate their generous offer of what they have or what they think you need (dandelion greens are actually quite good for you!), but, umm, no.  

How do you keep those dandelion greens out of your soup?

  • Say thanks but no thanks
  • Fish them out later
  • Tell them to put the dandelion greens in their own soup
  • Limit how many dandelion greens they can add
  • Put the lid on

You may be surprised how much a soup could benefit from unwanted ingredients.  Be open to possibility, but if you know you really hate dandelion greens then gently but firmly put the lid on and send them back to their own soup pot.  Hand them a potato on the way out.

Everyone Has a Pot, It’s What We Add That Makes It Rich

Imagine all that can be in your soup!  Yum!  Spinach, squash, onions, and garlic…  Coconut milk and chicken.  Beef, potatoes, carrots and peas…  Each ingredient adds a depth of flavor.  

I once found kohlrabi at a farmer’s market.  I’d never seen, heard of, or tasted a kohlrabi, much less cooked with one.  After a few questions, I decided to try it.  I found out I liked kohlrabi.

To make soup truly rich, sometimes we need to try new ingredients and spices.  Add just a little – Too much?  Don’t don’t like it?  As hungry chronic babes with only one pot and one spoon, we’re not likely to toss the soup.  Add a few extra spices to adjust or fish it out.  You can almost always salvage your soup.

How Do You Share Your Soup?

You have finally mastered a tasty and nutritious soup and you’re surrounded by other hungry villagers and travelers.  How do you share your soup – and not give too much away?

  • Share the recipe
  • Share some of the ingredients
  • Share just a bowl of soup
  • Say, “Add to my soup and I’ll share with you”

The best way to share soup, in my opinion, is to turn it into a perpetual soup with varying ingredients over time.  As people add new ingredients, the soup will change but you can share it with them and all be nourished.

Therese is a blogger, photographer, and pre-published children’s picture book author.  She has been living with chronic Lyme Disease since 2012. She has tried not to let it slow her down, but… Lyme has had other plans for her. Despite the challenges, she pushes herself forward as much as her health allows. On her siteshe writes about writing, photography, and the pursuit of health… and hosts online photo galleries. She also created a health journal: Journey Towards Health: A Health Record & Journal for Chronic Illness and Pain.


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