Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Tale of The Geologist, The Cook and Stone Soup

If you have been reading this blog for sometime, you may recall that TBHITW is a Professional Geologist (PG, REA) That's right. He gets to put important capital letters after his name.

But more important than the letters after the name is his love of being a geologist. He really loves what he does. I think that's just about the luckiest thing in the whole world: really loving what you do.

TBHITW loves being a geologist so much that he constantly brings home samples of his work. Yes, in our house we have rocks. Many rocks. Big rocks, small rocks, rocks of many colors, rocks all over the place. Rocks on shelves. Rocks in boxes. Rocks on little pedestals. Sometimes I have to take rocks out of his pockets before I can do the laundry. His mother tells me he has been collecting rocks ever since he was a little boy.

Why, I bet as I sit here typing this he is out in the field somewhere looking at a rock. Perhaps marveling at its rockiness. I have seen the rock look many times. First he picks it up. Then he looks at it, I mean really looks at it. Then he removes his glasses to look closer. He may smell it. He may even taste it. He'll roll it around in his hand a bit (if it's small enough) and then finally, he'll announce what it is made of. Granite or marble or shist or sandstone or a hundred other things that rocks can be composed of. That rock may or may not come home with him tonight. You never know when a new rock will make its way into our home or outside in our (wait for it) rock garden.

What is the point of this story? It's to set you up for this riddle:

What do you get when you cross a geologist and a cook?

Why you get Stone Soup of course.

Stone Soup: serves a family or a village....

One Stone, scrubbed clean

32 ounces vegetable broth or chicken broth or beef - whatever you have.
2 potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen peas
8 white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large soup pot place oil and saute onions, carrots and celery until fragrant and soft. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices. Add potatoes and 1 cup of broth - just enough to cover the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the broth and the stone and turn up the heat and add the corn and peas. Cook until all the vegetables are heated through. Add seasonings of your choice. Fresh parsley? Thyme? Salt, pepper... enjoy.

What do you do when you have many leftovers but in small amounts? Do you make your own version of Stone Soup?

A Cooks Notes:

The idea of stone soup is to use whatever you have a little of. By adding a little of this and a little of that you create a delicious pot of food - where before you had none. No potatoes? How about white beans? or rice? No carrots? Do you have a turnip? Or a parsnip. Perhaps that bit of leftover chicken.. Be adventurous. There is no right or wrong. Of course you could always have a Stone Soup party. Invite a bunch of people over and have them bring one ingredient for soup. Then mix it all up and enjoy.


  1. I'm into rocks right now, too. Although it is clear your husband has always been into them. They really are interesting, and they tell a tale - which usually takes a geologist to tell. :-)

    Love the Stone Soup. Great idea. Thanks. Now I'm off to catch up with your last post.

  2. Nancy - yes! Rocks do tell a story. We have taken many family vacations (Science Labs, disguised as vacations) all the while TBHITW has regaled us with stories of the past... the Grand Canyon was a gold mine of info!!

  3. I loved the "stone soup" story when I was a kid. I know at least one other blogger who did, and I'll see if she'd like to come here and read this.

    My grandfather wasn't a geologist - he was a lawyer - but he loved to collect interesting stones. Me, too.

  4. Suldog - I love the Stone Soup story too. Hope no one minds that I changed it up a bit.. but the lesson is still there,right? I never knew anyone who collected rocks before - but now know lots of folks do!

  5. Oh, I loved this version of Stone Soup! It was my favorite story during my childhood, as Suldog has told you. He dropped me your link to stop by. I'm glad he did!

  6. I've carried this one stone around in my pocket four about four years now. I picked it up from a shallow river bed because it was round and flat and it intrigued me. It was pretty rough when I first got it, but it's all smooth now.

    Rocks definitely are interesting.

  7. I almost went down the Geologist path (and the Physicist paht) but Biology finally won out! I had so much fun getting together a mineral collection as a teenager. Started the summer I turned 13 when I spent a couple of weeks with 3 of my cousins at my grandad's summer house in Spain. We'd head out with hammers and bash rocks open looking for cool minerals. My dad was surprised at the weight of my suitcase when I got home after that summer... (had a shoebox of rocks and loads of books I bought in France!)

    I still have my collection boxed away at home. In one of the moves the paper with all my hard ID work got lost... someday I'll find the time to do it all again. Had minerals collected over 3 different continents!

  8. Stone soup... Does the rock add a more earthy flavor? It sounds so interesting! Josh is into stones, I love crystals. :) Your husband sounds like such an interesting character. You both are very lovely people, I bet.


  9. Michele - thank you for stopping by! Every version of Stone Soup is different... that is what makes it magic.

    Badass - Legend has it that a stone in your pocket is good luck. Worn smooth is even better. And interesting? Since meeting (and marrying) my husband I've learned just how interesting...

    Crazy - oh, yes, minerals and gem stones have their place in our home too. We treat all of them as precious gems!

    Phoebe - Thank you. but better than lovely, we hope to be kind, understanding and generous of spirit.

  10. I loved that Russian folk story since I was young! That, and the movie "The Flim-Flam Man"- for the same reason...

  11. Apparently where I live (Oman) is a geologists Mecca...I'm not sure but know that I am surrounded by pretty rocks!!

  12. What a cool job! Elijah loves rocks and is currently all over having a meteorite or a mars rock! I bet he would talk his ear off given the chance!


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

Related Posts with Thumbnails