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Cooking, Homemaking, Nutrition

Cooking with Children: How to Make “Stone Soup”

Cooking with Children: How to Make “Stone Soup”

Children as young as 2- or 3-years old are capable of helping with cooking. Involving children with meal preparation teaches them real-life skills and helps them feel capable and confident.

This week on Sunday with Sarah I demonstrate how I made Stone Soup (vegetable soup) with the children in my kindergarten class.

Though I never use a recipe, here are the general instructions:

  1. Chop an apple and an onion. Peel and crush 2-4 cloves of garlic. Sauté the apples, onions and garlic in olive oil and about a tablespoon of butter.
  2. Add 2-3 bouillon cubes, or 2-3 T. of bouillon paste (I like Better Than Bouillon) to the sauteed mixture.
  3. Add 2-3 quarts of water and put a clean, washed stone in the pot, and let simmer.
  4. Have children help you chop whatever vegetables you have on hand. Veggies can include potatoes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, broccoli, celery, zucchini, kale, spinach, or virtually any other type of fresh vegetable.
  5. Have children help add chopped vegetables to pot.
  6. Add a cup of barley or rice that has been rinsed and soaked overnight, or pasta in fun shapes.
  7. Let simmer for an hour.
  8. Enjoy! (Makes a full pot that will feed a family, with enough for leftovers.)

Items demonstrated in this video:

Find them all under our Cooking category at Bella Luna Toys.

Click here to read the Stone Soup story.

Bon appétit!



If you decide to make Stone Soup with your children, let me know how it turns out! In what other ways to you involve your child/ren in the kitchen? What cooking tasks have they helped you with? Share your thoughts, comments and questions here!


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  • Reply Jaden May 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Hi! I’m wondering what herbs are in your “gourmet butter”. We’ve made stone soup a few times in the past, but have found that the taste can really fall flat without the addition of herbs. The “gourmet butter” may be the secret ingredient that gives your soup the special taste that kids crave and find missing at home. Thanks so much for the great video. The songs are new to me and will now be put to good use!

    • Reply Sarah Baldwin May 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Jaden. Actually, I never used “gourmet butter” when making soup in my kindergarten class. I just happened to have it on hand when I was making the video. The butter I used in the video was “Garlic and Herb” butter from Casco Bay Butter here in Maine. It is by no means necessary to produce a flavorful soup.

      In addition to starting the soup with sauteed garlic, you can also add any herbs you like that you have on hand, such as thyme or oregano. In my kindergarten class I used Herbamare herb salt, which you ought to be able to find or request at your local health food store or co-op.

      I also think the stock or buillion or stock you use will add a lot of flavor (or not). I really like the flavor of the vegetarian Better Than Buillion paste. This is what I used in my class, and demonstrated in the video. Again, this is a product you ought to be able to find at your local health food store, and probably at the supermarket.

  • Reply Angie May 24, 2014 at 7:42 am

    So sweet! I will have to try some stone soup with my children!

    My mom always baked with me when I was a child, and I think that for that reason I grew up with a love of cooking!
    Therefore I always try to involve my own children as much as possible. They love to help with baking, especially measuring and adding ingredients, cracking eggs and stirring, but they will also help with grating and slicing vegetables, too. If we are making traditional saurkraut, they love to help pound the salted cabbage and pack it into jars.

    My toddler enjoys playing with the measuring cups or spoons while we are baking, and helping wash the dishes with me.

  • Reply Frédérque May 31, 2014 at 12:48 am

    So inspiring! THANKS! I can’t wait to cook a stone soup with my kids now!

  • Reply T August 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Yay! Thanks so much for this. After watching your video in the morning we scrapped our plans for the day, went to Whole Foods, got some Better than Boullion & made soup! It was yummy (I thought) and my kids tried a bite or so each but I’m determined to keep making it and we’ll give it to neighbors if we can’t eat it all. I think they’ll eventually eat more. The process however, they LOVED! They chopped and sang and had a wonderful time. So much fun. I’ve always had it on my list to have a soup day but finding a recipe, figuring out how to do it with kids etc has been too much work. But seeing you do it makes the whole thing make sense & seem totally manageable. I love Sundays with Sarah! My daughter watching the video and hearing you sing said, “I like her.” And I agreed. :)

  • Reply Nancy Vietri September 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    We made our Stone Soup this morning, and I am delighted to report that it was a delicious supper tonight. We live in Italy, so we substituted farro for the barley. We seasoned ours with a little dried sage and a pinch or two of sweet paprika, along with salt and pepper. My little ones (ages 5 and 3) chopped, poured, and stirred. Can you please sometime post a video with an easy recipe for bread? We’d love that!

  • Reply Suzy February 1, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    This may be a silly question, but i am hesitant to put a stone in our soup, lol, but i want to! What a great story and tradition…. what kind of stone? I feel funny asking that question. Sorry!

    • Reply Sarah Baldwin February 5, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      Not silly at all, Suzy! When choosing a good “soup stone,” I look for one that’s smooth and round, without cracks and crevices. Wash it well. You can boil it ahead of time if you’d like, but it will be sterilized in a pot of hot soup. After each soup day, we would carefully wash and dry the stone until the next week.

  • Reply Kristen Smith September 6, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I absolutely love this! I am hoping to cook it in my classroom; however, we do not have a stove. Do you think it would work in a crock pot?

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