One of my favorite stories growing up, which still stays with me, is the “Stone soup story”. The story is a representation of the human spirit. It is like saying that most of us want to help out but because of our society and the people that surround us might not understand our actions, that we actually are afraid to help those that need our help. So in the story, the main character had to out smart those around him to not only feed himself but to think that they did it on their own, without him prompting or asking them. Now that is being “cunning”, in a good way. But it is a shame that we are so stubborn to help and that we have to be “tricked” into doing something for someone instead of just helping from the heart. So, next time when you are in a situation to help someone, just reverse your roles and ask yourself, “If I were in there shoes”, would I want to be helped and go from there. In the mean time here is my version of the “Stone soup story”. Then what follows is a basic recipe for vegetable soup. Scraps are great for this, just keep a large freezer bag handy in the freezer that you can put your veggie scraps in. When the bag is full of great veggie scraps you are ready to make vegetable soup or stock.
The stone soup story
One day this homeless dude was cruisin’ around town. Now he was fairly clean and did not harass anyone that he passed. He was not a familiar face in town, so people, because of his situation and because he was not a familiar face, seemed to shun him. Well, after a day or so, this poor dude was getting real hungry. You see the homeless do not have a nice, warm, safe place to go to at the end of the day, like most of us. They do not have a stove to cook on, so in most cases, do not have much to eat either. So this homeless dude, we will call him “Joe”, found himself starting to ask around for some food. He went door to door, asking people if he could do a little work in exchange for some food. Well, he did not have any luck but he did find in his search, a nice heavy cast iron soup pot. So he found a nice spot near by, made a fire and a make shift stand to hold the soup pot. His fire was hot, the pot had water in it and he just stood there looking in his pot. Something glittered on the ground as the sun was setting and caught Joe’s eye. Joe went over and looked on the ground and found some beautiful “Gold” stones. He was so amazed at these particular stones that he picked them up and put them into the pot of water that was now simmering over the fire.
Some people were just getting home from work while others were starting to prepare their evening meal. As people were hustling around they would pass Joe, who was quietly stirring his pot of water and rocks. Just as human nature would have it, people started to ‘curiously’ ask Joe what he was up to?
He responded, in the most loving kind way, by saying that he was making “Stone soup”! Then he would say, “Wow, if I just had a little bit of potato, this soup would be really good”! Well lo and behold one of the passerby’s gave him a potato. A little later, another person asked Joe what he was doing? He responded, in the most loving kind way, by saying that he was making “Stone soup”! Then he would say, “Wow, if I just had a little bit of carrot, this soup would be really good”! Well lo and behold; one of the passerby’s gave him some carrots. Well this went on for a while, each time Joe would say how good “some kind of vegetable” would be in his soup and next thing you know someone would bring that vegetable. Before long, people were gathering around and Joe’s’ soup turned out to be really good vegetable soup. Now with a crowd around Joe started to tell stories. Stories that made people laugh, even a few that made you shed a tear or two, too! Soon this stranger that no one wanted to talk to, was passing around soup to his new friends and sharing stories that made everyone feel a little bit better. He was no longer a stranger and in fact he showed most of us the true spirit of giving.
I mean before he knew it he had passed out all of the soup, not leaving any for him. When one of the local businesswomen saw this, she was so impressed by his actions she offered him a job, gave him a place to stay and treated him to a meal at the local diner that night. After chatting with Joe that evening, she found out that he was a great guy that just happened to be in a bad situation. He had lost his job, just got divorced (because of no job) and just had a few challenging situations thrown at him all at once. His heart was pure, as were his actions, it was just that he was being tested at the moment. But instead of being angry, he decided to share what he could. Since he was a writer, he told stories to inspire people. In his actions, he did inspire that woman to help him. In turn, the Universe in all of its glory, shined down upon him with more blessings than he ever imagined.
STONE SOUP RECIPE (actually VEGETABLE SOUP minus the stones)!
Basic vegetable stock
In a 8-quart or bigger stock pot add
2- 3 large onions, chopped with skin on
4 – 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 – bunch celery, chopped
2 – 3 leeks, chopped
1 – bunch parsley
3 – 4 turnips, peeled and chopped
1 – can (or 6-8 fresh) whole tomatoes (optional)
Fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, and basil
Let this simmer for several hours. Strain, and then reduce by at least one-third. This will give it a more intense flavor. At this point you can add any variety of vegetables, vegetable scraps, potatoes, salt and pepper to taste and Viola! You have vegetable soup!
So as you travel down your road of life, remember that this can happen to you, too. If you are in one of those challenging situations, just remember to “Let go and let God, or whatever your Higher Spirit is”. When your heart is pure life can only get better. It may not always be what we are imagining, in fact, sometimes it may be a complete 180 degrees from what we are imagining. No matter what, though, it is our life, so be happy. Share your happiness by helping out those who are less fortunate than us. Because in a moment it could be US!
So remember that you are more blessed than you probably imagine. Be thankful for everything, no matter how small the blessing may be. Remember that next time some one ask for some food or money, just remember how you would feel if you were in their shoes (that is, if they even have any shoes)!
Life is a wonderful journey, be kind to all you pass along yours~