Soup from a Stone! – Piglet’s “Foodie Friday” recipe challenge

You can’t get blood from a stone but apparently in Portugal you can get soup!

Stone Soup (Sopa de pedra)
Stone Soup (Sopa de pedra)
The legend surrounding the recipe for Stone Soup (Sopa de pedra) has been passed down for generations. It made me smile so I thought I would share the story.

Many many years ago in the Ribatejo area of Portugal a hungry friar knocked on the door of a rich farmer and asked for some food. The farmer told him he could not spare any food as he was also hungry and to go away! The friar then took a stone from his sack and told the farmer he could make a delicious soup from the stone which they could share – all he needed was a large pan of water and a fire. The farmer duly obliged intrigued by this “miracle” soup.

The friar added the stone, boiled for several minutes and then dramatically tasted the “soup”. He had noticed a large piece of smoked bacon hanging from the fireplace, so asked the farmer for a small piece of bacon to add more flavor to the soup. Intrigued, the farmer agreed and gave the friar a slice of bacon. The friar boiled the soup for a few more minutes, tasted it, paused and then told the farmer that the soup tasted good but a piece of sausage and a carrot would really make it delicious. The friar continued to dupe the farmer in this manner until he had all the ingredients he needed to make a delicious soup.

After eating the soup the friar removed the stone and put it back in his bag.

1 smooth round stone
1 large slice smoked streaky bacon
2 finely sliced carrots
1 large finely diced potato
1 chopped onion
½ shredded cabbage
1 tomato
3½ oz precooked brown beans
1 pork sausage
1 pig’s trotter
1 hog’s ear
2 pints of water

Place stone in a large pan, add water and bring to the boil and “taste”.
Add the onion, tomato, slice of smoked bacon, pig’s trotter, pig’s ear and sausage and cook until meat is cooked.
Set aside a few tablespoons of stock; purée half the brown beans and mix with the stock and add to pan.
Add remaining vegetables and beans and simmer until tender.
Remove the meats and sausage, cut into small pieces and add to soup bowls. Pour remaining soup over meat and serve.

If you have read down to this point I bet you are wondering did Piglet really cook this soup. No, I have to confess I was more intrigued by the legend and not the gastronomic “experience” of the soup itself. I feel sure (she says unconvincingly) that the soup is absolutely delicious but trotters and hog’s ears are just a little too “rustic” for me. Could you eat them?

Please share your favourite recipe…


29 thoughts on “Soup from a Stone! – Piglet’s “Foodie Friday” recipe challenge

Add yours

    1. Lol…Yeah, Stone Soup. Was a favourite the kids .Well the story at least. The version we have involves a tramp and a lonely spinster named Miss Parsimony.

      I had to do all the accents when I read it at bedtime. 🙂
      Oh…and the soup is nice.

      I make a soup sans trotter and ears, but instead of the Stone use chicken bones,dash of olive oil, a potato, carrot, parsley, celery, sweet potato, onion,one or two boneless chicken breasts and any other veggie that takes my fancy at the time.
      Chop it all up – not too fine – add water, salt to taste and cook. Eh..voila.
      e aí está!


  1. I love your post about Stone Soup. It’s brings back fun & fond memories of childhood. I’m like Seashell, the story I was raised with was about a village or community. But basically the same scenario.
    I don’t blame you for not making this Stone soup, it doesn’t sound very tasty to me. 😉
    Hope you have a delicious week!


  2. I loved this story! I’ve noticed you in comments of several blogs~I finally made it to your blog!!! It is awesome…the photos are too!! Going to surf a bit before bed…great legend! 🙂


    1. Hi Jaxiecat and welcome to sunny Portugal! thanks for the nice comments about my blog. I try and keep it a fun place! ClassyRoses’ blog trot (RandomBlog2011 Challenge) was a great idea and cetainly got us all out and about and I for one certainly discovered some great blogs.


  3. Hi Piglet!

    Finally! You’ve got a recipe that even I can make! Don’t know about all of those extra things but I’ve got lots of stones. 🙂

    That’s a wonderful tale Piglet. Thanks for sharing!

    – Papa Joe


  4. I love Stone Soup. It has always been one of my favorite stories. Thanks for visiting my blog today. I look forward to reading about more of your adventures in Portugal and getting to know you through your blog. I love travel and learning about culture. I also love pigs!


  5. Yes Pip, I did wonder if you’d actually had the soup as it seems to go against everything you’re fond of. Not sure I’d fancy it to be honest, but great story I love stories like that!


    1. Hi Marcia,
      I was more intrigued by the story than the recipe…and as I’ve not been well this week I thought it would be a good compromise 🙂 Did look at the possiblity of cooking it…in the name of art but chickened out :oops


  6. Hi Pip. Never heard that story before in all my time visiting Portugal .Thank you. Recipe
    Savoury Pear Delight
    Ingredients 1 Ripe Desert Pear, Danish Blue Cheese,
    Philadelphia Cheese (Soft), 2 lettuce leaves, squeeze of lemon juice, pinch of paprika.
    Take the ripe pear and remove skin. Cut in half. Remove core.
    Sqeeze lemon juice on pear to prevent going brown.
    Place on flat dish on top of lettuce leaf
    Fill core with generous portion of blue cheese.
    Mix soft cheese to creamy consistency with milk and pour over filled pear
    Put a pinch of paprika on top.
    ENJOY It is a great starter for a dinner party


  7. I love this story piglet dear… Stone soup and worth every drop! of course the best part is that the farmer never cottoned on to the fact that he had provided far more ingredients to the soup. 🙂


  8. I heard this tale a long time ago at The Stone Soup Kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina.

    A delightful smallish cottage of a restaurant serving soups, salads, and fresh bread. Each day, one of the soups was Stone Soup . . . the vegetarian version. 🙂


    1. The Friar is famous…! I wonder how far the recipe varies other than pig parts. I thnk perhaps the Portuguese were so poor that every part of an animal was and is still utilised in cooking. Probably the The Stone Soup Kitchen would not have many orders if the ears and trotters were included


  9. The stone is beautiful, the soup story intriguing, and the idea of eating a pig’s ear–not so much. All I could see were the ones I have bought for my dog in the past. He loved them, but they were just too gruesome and I quit buying them. Fun post to read!


  10. k…so I have to ask, cause I don’t know, and I am too lazy to google, what the hell is a trotter? And Janis…agreed, the ear put me off too, as I am sure the trotter will, when I find out what it is…


  11. Hi Pip, where did you dig that one up? Do people really cook this Stone Soup or is it just a legend?

    You got me laughing again and I really needed that right now. Thanks for the smiles and no I wouldn’t eat it. 🙂


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