Do you know the story of stone soup? In it, an unlikely ingredient — a stone, or sometimes buttons, nails or an axe — is transformed into a delicious, satisfying soup because everyone in the town contributes a little something to make the stone soup better.
You probably don't get your whole town involved, but I suspect you might have your own "stone soup," one that makes the most of a handful of unpromising ingredients, turning them into a tasty, warming meal no matter how bare your cupboards may be. Care to share?
My own favorite stone soup is a recipe I stumbled upon in Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. It's an Italian-style riff on a classic lentil soup: you add some canned tomatoes and a handful or arborio rice to the simmering lentils, and finish it off with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Though it doesn't sound like much, a bowl of this soup is somehow so much more than the sum of its parts. And because it is almost entirely made with shelf-stable pantry ingredients, it's one of those meals I can throw together even during a week when I haven't had time to shop.
So that's my pick — now it's your turn. What's your favorite stone soup?
I posed this same question to some of our favorite food writers and bloggers, so stay tuned for their stone soup picks later this week!
(Image: Ham Bone, Greens, and Bean Soup/Faith Durand)