Stone Soup


The week of Thanksgiving was filled with family and friends and entertaining, but everyone has returned to their respective cities and homes and it is just me and my husband. Everyone in my husband’s office is sick and he was not immune, so I of course made soup. We went through a pot of pea soup when I could feel that I was getting sick. Since there is no one to make me soup and I didn’t feel up to grocery shopping, I turned to my pantry to see what I could come up with. I told my husband that the result would either be wonderful or truly awful and until we sat down to eat, I honestly wasn’t sure which way it would go. Thankfully, it turned out to be wonderful.  This soup won’t win any beauty contests, but it will win in the taste category. The result is not necessarily a recipe to follow since you may have different beans on hand or may have parsnips in your veg drawer. It should be viewed as more of a guideline and inspiration. So while I have laryngitis and a cold and really, really don’t feel much like shopping or cooking, I know that I have a wonderful pot of stone soup to turn to.

Lisa’s Stone Soup

Yield: 8 portions


1 Tablespoon EVOO

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 stalks of celery, sliced

1 smoked turkey leg (I had it in my freezer)

2 cups of dried lima beans (I ALWAYS have dried beans from Rancho Gordo in my pantry)

1 cup of dried Ayocote Morado beans

15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup of farro (or other grain)

8 cups of beef broth (you could use chicken or vegetable if that is what you have)

4 cups of water

15 ounce can of pumpkin purée

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground cloves and allspice

1 bay leaf


  1. Rinse the dried beans.
  2. In a 6 quart stock pot or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery in the EVOO until translucent and just beginning to brown.
  3. Add the dried beans, turkey leg, broth and water. Bring to a boil and skim the soup (that means removing the scum that rises to the top). Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, add the farro, cannellini beans, pumpkin puree and seasonings. Cook on a low light for another hour, stirring occasionally. I removed the lid about 30 minutes in, brought the soup to a gentle boil and cooked off a bit of the liquid. I didn’t want this to taste like pumpkin pie, so the seasonings are only enough to give the broth that certain somethin’ somethin’ without knowing exactly what it is. The pumpkin adds richness and smooths out the broth without actually tasting specifically of pumpkin.
  5. Adjust the seasonings and enjoy. This soup only gets better with time and slow cooking. It is filled with umami. It is comfort food at its best.  I actually kept it on a low light for a couple of hours until we were ready for dinner. I had some leftover corn muffins from Thanksgiving in the freezer which I thawed and served with the soup.




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