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Stone Soup




Raising five children on a soldier's pay was never easy, especially as I was a stay at home mum and so we only had the one income coming in.  I never wanted my children to always know where their mum was.  It was a choice that my ex husband and I made early on in our marriage, that our children would be raised by us and nobody else.  I have never regretted that choice.  It did mean however that I oftimes had to really make the pennies stretch, especially around this time of year when there were so many other things to spend our money on! 



Thankfully I was always a good cook and quite adept at creating something very delicious out of not a lot!  Tasty dishes such as this stone soup I am showing you today  . . . 



 I used to give these simple budget stretching dishes somewhat exciting names!  Stone Soup was one of my children's favourite stories and so this simple cabbage, tomato and rice soup became known as Stone Soup.  

 

 There was a method to my madness . . .  while they might not have gotten excited about a bowl of cabbage soup, calling it Stone Soup immediately made them want to tuck in! 



 I am sure you are familiar with the story of the beggar who went to a  poor village looking for a place to sleep and a bite to eat.  The villagers were very suspicious however and were not that eager to help, but being as canny and smart as he was, he inspired them into helping him create a delicious stone soup that the whole village shared together at the end of the story.  You can find the story here.


Its a wonderful story with a great moral to it, teaching children that if we can work together on things, then amazing things will begin to happen!


Things like delicious pots of soup that started with not a lot more than half a cabbage, an onion, a tin of tomatoes, some water and a vegetable stock pot.


Of course there are a few seasonings involved as well, which are never a problem in my house because I always have a well stocked herb drawer.




With a bit of crusty bread on the side this soup goes down a real treat!  We have always loved it.  It takes the humble cabbage and lifts it up into something quite, quite magnificent!


*Stone Soup*
Serves 4 generously

I call this stone soup because you end up with a delicious soup, by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you end up with a delicious soup everyone will enjoy! 

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb of finely shredded white cabbage
2 - 3 TBS olive oil
500ml of vegetable stock (2 1/4cups)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (14 ounce tin)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dillweed
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp seasoning salt (I like the paprika pepper one)
the juice of 1/2 lemon
100g raw long grain rice (1/2 cup)
salt and black pepper to taste 

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, cabbage and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, until the cabbage has begun to soften and is beginning to brown.  Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, dillweed, parsley, seasoning salt, lemon juice and rice.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Stir occasionally for 30 to 40 minutes until the cabbage is butter tender.  You may need to add a bit more water depending on how thick you like your soups.



There was another meal that my children used to gobble up that I called Monkey in the Middle, which was simply stewed meat in the middle of a plate, surrounded by a ring of corn and then a ring of rice.  The children loved that.  It was simple and delicious and made all the more so for its name.  Funny how that goes!  Bon Appetit! 





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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. I made soup last night for today..so comforting !You have had quite a life..a trooper!

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    1. This is definitely soup weather! In life we all do what we need to do to get by in life! We are all troopers! Xo

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  2. What a lovely, filling but light supper dish. I made this last night and it really hit the spot.

    We are kind of living on soups at the moment. We are eating lots of Christmas goodies for morning tea (mince pies, panettone, specuulas, mostaccioli biscuits, shortbread, rumballs) and then glögg with gingerbread and blue cheese plus saffron buns in the afternoon that we'd be the size of the Michelin Man if we ate big meals at night. So I've been making various vegetable soups and broths to keep us going until the Christmas excess is over :-)

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    Replies
    1. It is so hard not to over-indulge this time of year Marie! We try not to, but there is just so much tastiness about! This soup is light, and filling. I am happy you enjoyed it! xo

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