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Stone Soup

Today’s sermon was soup.

No, I didn’t say today’s sermon was about soup. Today’s sermon was soup. Today, worship and cooking become one.

I get to try unusual and risky things like this, in large part, due to both the assistance and the attitude of the congregation I serve.

They don’t always like everything … but they’re always willing to let me try. (Some might call that giving me enough rope to hang myself … but it never feels like that with these wonderful folks.)

In today’s worship, I’m using the story of Stone Soup to explore the ways we are connected and the way we live out a common call together. To be honest, with all of the cooking and praying and singing that is going on … this sermon isn’t going to be the most in-depth sermon I’ve ever preached.

But that’s okay. I think the image of our common call (of the congregation) as the soup-pot, into which we all offer our own individual and unique gifts, is a strong image that we can build on as we continue to discern God’s call in the life of this congregation.

So, in honor of God’s continual call in our lives,  and in solidarity with not only Golconda FPC but also with all those congregations trying to listen and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I invite you to make some Stone Soup.

Below is a recipe to get you started.



Stone Soup (from Family

  • 1 stone, big enough that it won’t get lost in the soup (quartz is a good choice because it won’t break down in cooking)
  • 1 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, cut into coins
  • 3 medium red-skinned potatoes (unpeeled, and cut into halves)
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or a combination of broth and water)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced large
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced large
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups cooked tubettini or ditalini, or other soup pasta (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Croutons
  1. Wash the stone thoroughly and drop it in a pot of water to boil (for extra cleaning) while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In another large pot, melt the butter or heat the oil, then sauté the onion on medium-high for 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrot, potatoes and red pepper, sautéing for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add in the broth. Using a spoon, fish the stone out of the other pot, add it to the soup and bring to a boil. Add the zucchini, squash, corn and pasta, cooking another 8 minutes or until the zucchini is the desired softness. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle on the cheese and croutons, then ladle–minus the stone–into individual bowls. Serves 6 to 8.

Five Years Late to the Party

I am astounded to discover that February 5, 2011 is the Fifth Annual World Nutella Day! I’m astounded, not that the whole world is honoring this extraordinary spread, but that I’m five years late in celebrating with them!

First, I feel I must confess my deep and abiding love for this beautiful chocolate-hazelnut treat. Originally from Italy, this delight didn’t make its way to the U.S. until 1983 (nearly half a century after its creation). But I didn’t discover it until the 90’s, when I lived in France.

It’s a standard in crepes, but it is equally common at European breakfast tables, spread on bread as Americans might do with peanut butter. After arriving home from France, I found that Nutella was still unavailable in many parts of the country, sadly including the one in which I lived. I missed it so much that when a European friend came to visit, she smuggled some in for me!

In the intervening years, many companies that distribute in the States have tried to sell a product that can compare. None do. Finally, a number of years ago, I discovered a few jars of Nutella sitting on the shelf in my local, small-town Kroger. What joy! I now can have Nutella whenever the mood strikes me.

I confess, I try not to keep it in the house. It’s the kind of thing that is just as good right out of the jar (on a spoon) as it is prepared in any other way. However, if you’re looking to celebrate World Nutella Day, you can find some great recipes HERE.


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