Stone Soup

I would consider our first attempt at making soup a success!


A couple of weeks ago, I read the book, Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth to the students. This is a Chinese folktale about three monks who teach a village a lesson about sharing and happiness. The monks trick the villagers into each contributing an ingredient to the “stone soup” they are making. In the end, the villagers come together to enjoy the soup that they all worked together to make. The soup was so tasty because they all contributed something and because they celebrated together.


As we read, we discussed the characters and the symbolism in the book. I think of the story as a metaphor for our school. Each student contributes something interesting to our school, and by working together, we make something greater than if we just worked individually. Also, being a part of our community is very important to us. It’s in our name. So we wanted the soup that we made together to benefit the community in some way.


On Friday, each student brought an ingredient, based on the Chinese version of the folktale, to contribute to our own Stone Soup. We took turns slicing, dicing, grating and measuring. When the soup was finished, the kids tried it. Most of them liked it (except for the tofu), and many ate more than one bowl. After school, a couple of the students and I delivered a gallon of the soup to the ARK to share with the residents. It was a cold, windy night on Friday, a perfect night for soup. I hope they enjoyed it as much as our kids did.



Lessons Learned:

Language – We read the book and talked about characters and symbolism. It was also important to listen for details in the story because we wrote our own recipe based on the ingredients the characters used.

Math – We wrote our own recipe, but we doubled that recipe for the batch that we made at school. This also involved fraction work.

Healthy Eating Habits – The recipe is very healthy and full of vegetables including a cabbage that came out of our school garden.

Fine Motor Skill – Some of our students had experience using kitchen tools and some did not. We used this as an opportunity to help them learn to make cubes of the same size, sort ingredients and hold tools in the proper way so that they wouldn’t get hurt. (We had NO cut fingers or grated knuckles!)

YVCS Chinese Stone Soup

Makes 1 Gallon


3 Quarts Chicken or Vegetable Stock

1 Large Onions (finely chopped)

2 Large Carrots (finely chopped)

½ Head of Cabbage (thinly sliced)

2 Cups Shitake Mushrooms (sliced)

I Cup Dried Mung Beans (soaked overnight)

3 Scallions (sliced thinly, whites and greens)

1 140z Package of Extra Firm Tofu (cut into small cubes)

1 can of Bamboo Shoots

3 Cloves Garlic (minced or grated)

1 Inch Ginger Root (grated)

4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. Sesame oil



Garlic Chili Oil for Garnish


Heat vegetable oil in large pot and sauté garlic and ginger and white parts of scallions for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add stock and soaked, drained mung beans into the large pot and bring to a boil.

Cook at a hard simmer for 20 minutes. *

Add onions, carrots, cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil and simmer for 10 minutes.*

Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and tofu and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

If soup is becoming too thick or dry, add more water or stock.

When soup is finished cooking, add scallions.

Garlic Chili Oil can be used for garnishing each bowl. Use sparingly.


*season with salt and pepper