Tuesday night was Soup Night at my house. With the price of groceries going up and the temperature and my prep time going down, soup is a quick, healthy, and affordable option for dinner. I wish I could tell you I made one of our favorite soup recipes like Brazilian Black Bean or Grandpa and Linda's Kale Soup from scratch. Unfortunately, between homework and ice hockey practice, we only had time for the canned variety served with crackers. But it was warm and filling and inspired some great table conversation. We talked about soup kitchens and why they are called soup kitchens when they serve foods other than soup. The kids had me tell them yet again about a time back in the early 1990's when I peeled eight dozen hard boiled eggs to be turned into deviled eggs at a soup kitchen. I thought my fingertips and my taste for hard boiled eggs would never recover.
All three children reminisced about cooking Stone Soup in their preschool. After reading the story, the teachers had each child bring in a vegetable to add to a soup they started early in the morning. I was fortunate to be able to come in as a volunteer helping the children chop those vegetables. Cutting carrots with a plastic knife is no easy task I assure you. Each year parents (present company included) expressed shock when their picky eaters tried the soup.
I told the kids that my mom remembers when my brother read Marcia Brown's Stone Soup back in his elementary school days and then cooked soup. Since they think I'm pretty ancient and he's my older brother, they are convinced that kids have been reading Stone Soup for a loooong time. In fact, this 1947 Caldecott winner is based on an even older French tale of three soldiers who outwit a village into providing them with the makings of a feast. The picture book is a funny, clever, great read on Soup Night.