Tuesday is our soup day. The barley is soaking.Put on your aprons and set to work if you are making soup today:

  • Set out a cutting board, a knife or a julienne/crinkle cutter for each person and a bowl for the cut vegetables
  • Wash the carrots and celery with the children
  • Chop the onion, garlic, carrots and celery
  • While the soup is simmering, iron the table linens for the week and set the table, my ironing board is adjustable and goes very low, so my children have ironed since they were five or so. They must wear shoes, shirts and long pants and I must be there next to them. The play iron is very good for the little ones. When they see you iron, they want to iron too. Dolly’s clothes often need some pressing.

  • Take out the little ironing board and iron and some cloth to iron

  • if you do not have an ironing board, make one, a little bench, a cloth, a block:

  • Put a candle in the center of the table, and add a stone, a shell, “bits of winter” evergreen branch
  • Call the fire fairies when it is time to gather, SEE VERSES
  • Sing a Blessing, SEE VERSES
  • Thank Mother Earth for her bounty and extinguish candle together, SEE VERSES
  • Bring dishes to sink
  • Wash and rinse and set to dry
  • Hang aprons to dry

Morning Garden Soup


1 Tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots sliced
2 celery stalks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups rich chicken stock (recipe here)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juices (or frozen from garden if you have it)
1/2 cup barley (soaked overnight preferably)
Chicken breast (optional) can use chicken meat from rich chicken stock making
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the pot, add the olive oil, warm the oil, add onions, carrots and celery. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cook for another 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes with juices and barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes or until chicken and barley are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

A story of Stone Soup to tell:
Three soldiers trudged down a road in a strange country. they were on their way home from the wars. Besides being tired, they were hungry. In fact, they had eaten nothing for two days.
“How I would like a good dinner tonight,” said the first.
“And a bed to sleep in,” added the second.
“But that is impossible,” said the third.
On they marched, until suddenly, ahead of them, they saw the lights of a village.
“Maybe we’ll find a bite to eat and a bed to sleep in,” they thought.
Now the peasants of the place feared strangers. When they heard that three soldiers were coming down the road, they talked among themselves. “Here come three soldiers,” they said. “Soldiers are always hungry. But we have so little for ourselves.” And they hurried to hide their food. They hid the barley in hay lofts, carrots under quilts, and buckets of milk down the wells. They hid all they had to eat. Then they waited.
The soldiers stopped at the first house. “Good evening to you,” they said. “Could you spare a bit of food for three hungry soldiers?” “We have no food for ourselves,” the residents lied. “It has been a poor harvest.”
The soldiers went to the next house. “Could you spare a bit of food?” they asked. “And do you have a corner where we could sleep for the night?” “Oh, no,” the man said. “We gave all we could spare to the soldiers who came before you.” “And our beds are full,” lied the woman.
At each house, the response was the same — no one had food or a place for the soldiers to stay.
The peasants had very good reasons, like feeding the sick and children. The villagers stood in the street and sighed.
They looked as hungry as they could.
The soldiers talked together. The first soldier called out, “Good people! We are three hungry soldiers in a strange land.
We have asked you for food and you have no food. Well, we will have to make stone soup.” The peasants stared.
The soldiers asked for a big iron pot, water to fill it, and a fire to heat it. “And now, if you please, a smooth round stone.” The soldiers dropped the stone into the pot.
“Any soup needs salt and pepper,” the first soldier said, so children ran to fetch salt and pepper.”
“Stones make good soup, but carrots would make it so much better,” the second soldier added.
One woman said, “Why, I think I have a carrot or two!” She ran to get the carrots.
“A good stone soup should have some cabbage, but no use asking for what we don’t have!” said the third soldier. Another woman said, “I think I can probably find some cabbage,” and off she scurried.
“If only we had a bit of beef and some potatoes, this soup would be fit for a rich man’s table.”
The peasants thought it over, then ran to fetch what they had hidden in their cellars.
A rich man’s soup, and all from a few stones! It seemed like magic!
The soldiers said, “If only we had a bit of barley and some milk, this soup would be fit for a king!” And so the peasants managed to retrieve some barley and milk.
“The soup is ready,” said the cooks, “and all will taste it, but first we need to set the tables.”
Tables and torches were set up in the square, and all sat down to eat. Some of the peasants said,
“Such a great soup would be better with bread and cider,” so they brought forth the last two items and the banquet was enjoyed by all. Never had there been such a feast. Never had the peasants tasted such delicious soup, and all made from stones! They ate and drank and danced well into the night.
The soldiers asked again if there was a loft where they might sleep for the night.
“Oh, no!” said the townfolk. “You wise men must have the best beds in the village!” So one soldier spent the night in the priest’s house, one in the baker’s house, and one in the mayor’s house.
In the morning, the villagers gathered to say goodbye. “Many thanks to you,” the people said, “for we shall never go hungry now that you have taught us how to make soup from a stone!”
This version is my adaptation of Marcia Brown’s 1947 story that first came to me via Christine Natale.

Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie is the Editor and Publisher of The Wonder of Childhood and has spent the past fifteen years with one of her own children in early childhood (under seven years of age)  and worked with children and their families from pregnancy until Kindergarten. Lisa’s home based program The Children’s Garden began many  years ago on a tropical island. During this sabbatical  Lisa is focused on working with adults. She has developed a fabulous online program to support parents who are striving to bring daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal rhythm and joy to their lives Celebrate the Rhythm of Life through the Year. She lives with her family in Vermont. Lisa blogs at Celebrate the Rhythm of Life  and hosts a discussion groups for parents of young children here.


2 Responses to Soup Day and Ironing Day with the Story of Stone Soup

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  2. Fran says:

    Just read this story now and love it! Got the soup going on the stove :) Plan to do this again and tell the story with my daughter. Love all the posts in this series. Thank you!

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