Stone Soup – Memories in the Making!

If stone soup sounds a bit odd, bear with me for just a minute. Because I promise it’s delicious!

And for those of you with little ones, it’s a super fun way to get your kids in the kitchen with you, and potentially (I’m not making any promises, here) eat their veggies too!

This recipe is an old treasure and was inspired by one of my favorite books as a child – Marcia Brown’s *Stone Soup. (I guess it’s no surprise that even as a kid, I liked to read about cooking!)

To improve efficiency for you, and the fun-factor for your kids, it’s important to utilize Mise en Place (as shown in photo at left).

And why not, after all this soup is based on a French folktale! So why not incorporate the French culinary method for ensuring everything is ready to go, so you and your kiddos can just concentrate on having fun and making memories to last a lifetime!

How to Make Stone Soup with Your Kids:

Start out by having each of your children place a “stone” into your crockpot. I like to use little red boiler potatoes as stones, because, really, who wants to put a real stone into their soup? Who knows where that thing’s been?

Next, have one of your kiddos add the water. Then, turn the crockpot on low.

Once the water is in place, start asking your kids for ingredients – one by one – just like in the book:
• “Does anyone have … [name an ingredient]
• “Mmm, what would really make this soup even more magical would be … [name an ingredient]
• The stone has asked for … [name an ingredient]

It’s come to my attention that girls tend to like to do things like swirl-around in circles after adding each ingredient, because apparently swirling makes the soup taste even better. Boys are not usually into the swirling-thing, but mine sure to like to yell “bam” as each ingredient hits the crockpot. I don’t necessarily recommend this, but it is fun! Just be sure to stand clear of the “splash-zone.”

After adding the seasonings, it’s time to add the potatoes. Aidan decides to give me a break on the “bam” action and just gently dumps them in.

Next comes all of the veggies – YUM! You can place these in separate bowls to make it more fun for your little ones to add them one by one, just like in the book.

Finally, it’s time to add the chicken drumsticks – this is a good job for Mom. Be sure to stir the soup to evenly distribute the ingredients, and ensure chicken is submerged in water.

Once ya’ll have added all of the ingredients. It’s time to place the cover on the pot. My boys used to like to do this very quietly when they were little – I have no idea why? And I don’t think it really enhances the flavor of the soup. But let me just say with two rowdy boys, anything done quietly is a bonus in my book!

And that’s it. Now go play and let those stones work their magic – which just might include getting your kiddos to eat more veggies. (One can hope anyway!)

P.S. Now that my boys are older, as you can see they still enjoy making stone soup with me from time to time. And one day, Lord willing, I hope this will be a special memory that they share with their own children too! 

Stone Soup (GF, DF)

Yield: 6-8 servings

Stone Soup (GF, DF)


    The Stones:
  • 3 small, whole red or white boiler potatoes, cleaned and scrubbed
  • Soup Ingredients:
  • 1 quart (4 cups) filtered water
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 6 red or white boiler potatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 medium organic carrots, sliced
  • 4 organic celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced thick (or use 1 cup frozen green beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Seasonings
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 

  • 3 bay leaves

  • For Mom to Add:
  • 5-6 organic chicken drumsticks, skin trimmed


  1. Pre-chop and have ready all of the ingredients before inviting your children to help. (I use a one-quart jar to place the water and vinegar in. I also recommend placing the soup ingredients into separate bowls to make it easier for your kids to add them.)
  2. Read the book Stone Soup together.
  3. Then, have each of your children place one small whole potato (stone) into a 6-quart slow cooker. Have your oldest child slowly pour in the water-vinegar mixture. (If you really want to be silly, sing a funny made-up magical song to get those stones all jazzed up about making some delicious, healthy soup.)
  4. Next, have your kiddos add each of the soup ingredients, starting with the seasonings.
  5. To make it even more fun for little ones, place the pre-chopped veggies in various areas of the kitchen. That way, as you call out what you need for the soup, your children can take turns running around to find the requested ingredient.
  6. Finally, add the chicken drumsticks. Stir to evenly distribute soup ingredients, and ensure chicken is submerged in water.
  7. Cover and cook on low approximately 8 hours (or on high about 5 hours). Then, a half-hour before serving, carefully remove the drumsticks and allow them to cool slightly. Also remove and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  8. Use a fork to remove the meat from the bones (discard bones, or freeze for future bone stock). Shred the meat using two forks (or your fingers) and add it back to the crockpot. Stir to evenly distribute soup ingredients. Keep crockpot on warm for up to 30 minutes, until you're ready to serve.
  9. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and enjoy the magical taste of healthy homemade stone soup!


Stone soup is magically delicious for kids of all ages – so you don’t have to have kiddos to enjoy the wonderful flavor of this healthy homemade soup!

Freezer Recipe: This soup makes a great freezer recipe. Simply place all of the ingredients (except for the water, vinegar, seasonings and chicken) into a freezer-safe container and freeze until you’re ready to make the soup. (If freezing the drumsticks, do so in a separate container and be sure to thaw in the frig before adding to your crockpot.) When ready, place the drumsticks in your crockpot, along with the seasonings. Next, toss in the frozen veggies and add the water and vinegar. Then, cover and cook as directed. Easy and delicious!

*About the book:
Stone Soup is an award-winning book first published in 1947. It’s based on an old French folktale about some hungry soldiers who came up with a clever idea for getting a free meal. They asked the villagers in the town they were passing through to bring out the biggest pot they could find and then they would teach them how to make stone soup just as they had made it for the King.

Of course the villagers got very excited about the idea of making soup that was fit for the King, so they quickly got the biggest pot they could find. The soldiers then asked for water to fill the pot. So the villagers obliged. Next, they asked for three round stones, which would be the catalyst for the magical transformation.

Then they began to cleverly ask for all the necessary ingredients for soup – one by one – with the villagers humorously running back and forth bringing the soldiers everything they asked for. (After all, if this soup was good enough for the King, then they certainly wanted to try it too.)

The tale ends with everyone sharing a delicious soup that’s only magic was the clever idea of appealing to the villagers desire to enjoy something special enough for a King.

DisclosureSome of the links in this post include affiliate links, providing The Nourishing Home a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Of course, you are not obligated to use these links to make a purchase, but if you do, it helps to support this site and ministry. Thank you!

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  1. Val Quiggle says

    I just recetnly discovered your blog on Facebook and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found you. I am passionate about eating healthy and exercising and even passionate about my kids being healthy. Our kids have a big food challenge ahead of them in their lives and I think it is so scary. So thank you for all you hard work and sharing with us ways to get real food into our lives!

    • Kelly says

      It’s my pleasure and an honor to serve wonderful families like yours! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a kind, encouraging note! So glad to have you as a new friend! Blessings, Kelly :)

  2. says

    I love this recipe! I wrote a post a while back talking about ways to use honest manipulation in getting your kids to eat their veggies. One of the suggestions is to read a fun book with them, like Stone Soup, and then make the soup together. My kids love doing this and they love stone soup! Thanks for your version! We’ll use your recipe the next time we do a little light and flavorful reading :)

  3. Renee says

    We just read Stone Soup for the first time last week! We’ll have to check it out from the library again and make this recipe, it looks like a perfect way to get my littles involved in the kitchen. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Ashley says

    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for meal ideas to add to my weekly menu. I must say, I got much more than I was looking for! Your focus on children in the kitchen is very encouraging. What a great way to bless them with more Mommy time AND teach them healthy cooking and eating! Thank you!

    • Kelly says

      Thanks so much, Ashley! The two reasons for cooking with you kids that you point out in your sweet note, are exactly why I am such a huge proponent of Kids in the Kitchen. Thank you for taking the time to leave an encouraging note! I’m so happy the Lord led you here and that you’re finding this site to be a blessing for you. Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

  5. Paula says

    Loved this soup. Admittedly none of us had high hopes when looking at it (!) but after the first bite my husband said mmmm this has so much flavor! For some reason I thought the recipe called for 6 zucchini and I was going to comment that it doesn’t need so many, but I see it calls for two and that’s more like it :)
    I am new to gluten free cooking and baking and so far have loved the recipes and feel like its taken a load off to have the meal plan and recipes all available. I always planned meals before, but now I need all new recipes so this has been a wonderful find!

    • Kelly says

      Wonderful to hear! So glad you all enjoyed this. Yes, crockpot recipes are always the most beautiful – LOL – but the flavors do have a chance to develop slowly over time and so I find that many soups in particular turn out quite well in the crockpot. Glad you’re finding this site helpful as you strive to eat healthier! Thanks for taking the time to leave some kind notes today! What a blessing! :)

  6. Chris says

    Thank you for your recipe. I made this as a child with my kindergarten teacher. My wife and I now have 4 beautiful children and are sharing this fun activity with them. Thanks again.

    • says

      What a blessing to have a Dad enjoying time with his children in the kitchen. Thanks so much, Chris, for taking time to share an encouraging note! Many blessings to you and your family, Kelly :)

  7. Liz H says

    I forgot all about this book until I just found your recipe. I love it!! And I ordered the book for my girls right away so we can read about Stone Soup and then make it ourselves! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe and memory!!

    • says

      Hi, Liz. I am so excited for you and your girls! It’s so fun making Stone Soup together. I pray it brings you much fun and build many fond memories for you all as well. Blessings, Kelly :)

  8. Diane says

    Hello. are there 2 different stories of stone soup? The one I recall was about a homeless man that wondered into a town and no one wanted to be bothered by him but he was hungry and got the townspeople to bring the ingredients to him one by one to see his magic stones make soup cause they couldn’t believe stones could make any kind of decent soup.

    • says

      Hi, Diane. I am sure there are probably many spin-offs of this old tale. I give a brief synopsis of the book cited on this recipe. It’s a classic children’s book by Marcia Brown. This is the story I grew up with, but again, there may be other versions of the tale, just as there are of the recipe. :)

  9. Jeremy says

    My first grader just read “Stone Soup” and we are planning on making it ourselves. I printed your recipe to try. I am surprised at your “disinfected” life. “You don’t know where stones have been?” How about outdoors. Yes, before you cook your stone in a pot, it might be good to wash it off. But let’s be honest, when this story was written 500 years ago, people weren’t so anal about filtering water or whether they put a stone in their soup. They lived well without this sterile environment. Natural spring water tastes better than any “filtered” water. Why? because it contains minerals. Adding the stone to your soup will add minerals too. Mainly, sodium and calcium. Boiling your stone and water for 15 minutes will eliminate any harmful bacteria and other “buggies” that will harm you. But, then again, you must know that because you’re wiling to put potentially Salmonella laden organic raw chicken into your pot. I would like to see your recipes be less judgmental and ideological and more about the process and quantity of ingredients. People have lived healthily for centuries without filtered, organic, gluten free, casein-free, etc. These “judgments” about food are nothing more than elitist, politically-correct, hogwash. Please don’t allow these judgments to continue to make you a politically-correct, elitist, hypocrite that you appear to be.

    • says

      Hi, Jeremy. I didn’t mean to sound judgmental at all and was actually just being a little silly hearted about it (in other words making a joke not a judgement).I couldn’t agree more about many of your comments, however, it’s a real shame that you couldn’t have been a little nicer to me about it, especially with the name calling. I hope this is not how you are teaching your children to respond to others with whom they disagree. Words can be used to instruct and correct, without being used to completely tear someone down and destroy them. The loving thing to do is to always ask someone first, rather than assume and project all of these hateful thoughts upon them. If you had asked me, rather than assumed who you think I am based on your own preconceived judgments of me, you would have known that I don’t live a sterile environment nor do I promote that here, this post is not saying that at all. Sometimes, I wonder if there’s just so much hate in some people that they look for ways to try to completely hurt others to the point of internet bullying and name calling to inflict pain. Did you stop to think that I’m a human being too? I have feelings and I love others and am sharing recipes here to encourage families to grow closer to one another. I shared this very post for that purpose – to encourage others to enjoy time with their families making wonderful memories together. In no way was this post intended as a statement on living sterile. I hope you will consider my words said in love as an encouragement to consider what you say and how you say it. May God bless you and your family! :) Kelly


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