Magic Stone Soup is surprisingly tasty, purple and fun to make; a great dinner for Halloween, a homeschool lesson on purple or for anyone who loves cabbage.
Whenever we visit our local library, C1, our three year old, makes a beeline straight to the section of Disney encyclopedia books. There are several different series of these books in our library’s collection. It’s his ritual to first choose one of the encyclopedias before he moves on to find other books to borrow and bring home with us. About a month ago, we brought home Donald’s Magic Stone by Mary Packard and have read it over and over again. In this story, Donald Duck gets Goofy to unwittingly believe a stone he found on the ground is magic. Donald tells Goofy the stone can make soup if they just keep adding ingredients from Goofy’s recent trip to the grocery store.
The book never lists an actual recipe for Magic Stone Soup, only the ingredients: carrots, onions, flour, red cabbage, potatoes, salt and pepper. After what felt like our 100th time reading the book, C1 suggested we should make Magic Stone Soup just like Donald and Goofy. I was doubtful that it would taste very good, but C1 was so excited about the idea I figured it was worth a try. Much to my surprise and delight, the soup turned out to be incredibly tasty. It was so much fun preparing Magic Stone Soup with C1, I thought it was worth sharing our experience here on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home.
Magic Stone Soup: The Background Story
Here’s a synopsis of the story to bring you up to speed: Donald Duck is hungry after chopping wood all morning and finds that his cupboards are bare. He sees Goofy walking by with an armload of groceries and decides he’s going to convince Goofy to invite him over for dinner. Donald doesn’t want to be a rude guest, but he can’t even bring dessert. He finds a sparkling stone on the ground and tells Goofy that the stone is magic. Donald goes on to talk Goofy into inviting him over to show how the stone can make soup. Goofy unwittingly follows along as Donald starts boiling the magic stone in water, then tastes it and says it needs carrots. Goofy obliges and this continues on and on as Donald checks the Magic Stone Soup and determines it needs another ingredient and then another and then another until finally they’ve prepared not only a huge pot of steaming hot soup, but an entire feast.
Magic Stone Soup: The Recipe
- 1 “magic” stone (C1 has a special stone on a shelf in his room that he picked up on a walk with one of his grandpas last Fall, so we figured it surely must have some magic in it!)
- 8 cups of water
- 1 cup of carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 onions (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 TBS flour
- 1/2 head of red cabbage, washed and chopped
- 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- a dash of imagination
Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water. Add the “magic” stone and say the “magic” words: “Bippity, boppity, boop. Make a tasty soup!”
Bring to a boil. Say “I’ve heard that if you add carrots to a pot of stone stoup, it make it taste really delicious” then proceed to add carrots. Let the magic stone soup boil for a while then taste it and suggest an onion or two would make it taste better.
After adding onions, you’ll notice the soup isn’t as thick as it should be. It will occur to you the “magic” stone has been used so many times it’s a little worn out and maybe some flour would help. Once you add the flour, stir the soup continuously until it’s nice and smooth.
Taste the soup again then decide it would be really special if you added some cabbage, because as everyone knows “stone soup with cabbage is the best soup of all.”
After one more taste, you’ll realize something is missing — potatoes!
Last, add salt and pepper to “make the soup taste perfect.” Lower the heat and let simmer for 40-50 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Magic Stone Soup: The Results
For me, making Magic Stone Soup had three delightful surprises:
1. Making Magic Stone Soup was fun.
I thought it would be fun to take a library book, follow along with the story and act out the parts of the book like the characters, but I underestimated just how much fun we’d have. As soon as we got started, C1 claimed we needed to put on our aprons, then maintained we follow the book to the letter. If Donald and Goofy tried the soup, then we had to taste test too. In the book, Donald Duck suggests that Magic Stone Soup “goes really well with some bread and butter… and a plate of fine sausages wouldn’t hurt, either.” So, of course we had to have bread, butter and a plate of fine sausages as part of our meal. The book shows Donald and Goofy also had cheese, fruit, pickles and olives as part of their feast, so C1 insisted we have those too. He was quite dismayed when I told him we didn’t have olives or pickles. For a second I thought it might ruin the whole experience for him, but he snapped back and moved on with preparing the meal. We were both downright giggly about the whole thing and could hardly contain ourselves showing my husband the feast when he got home from work.
2. Magic Stone Soup is tasty.
I was highly skeptical in the beginning and really thought the Magic Stone Soup would be bland. I thought for sure I’d be sneaking a few chicken bouillon into the pot when C1 wasnt looking just to give it more flavor. Once we added salt and pepper, though, I found it didn’t need anything else. It tasted wonderful just the way it was. My husband and I agreed that the only thing we’d do differently if we made Magic Stone Soup again is to put the fine sausages right in the soup rather than serve it on the side.
3. Magic Stone Soup is purple.
I haven’t cooked with red cabbage before, so it never occurred to me that the cabbage would cause the Magic Stone Soup to become deep purple in color. This isn’t the most appetizing color for soup, but it would make a great dinner for Halloween, for a homeschool family doing a lesson on purple or for anyone who’s a huge fan of red cabbage.
In the end, Donald Duck confesses the whole trick to Goofy:
“‘Goofy, there is something I have to tell you,’ Donald said. ‘This stone really isn’t magic.’
‘Sure it is, Donald,’ said Goofy. ‘Look how it made my groceries disappear!’
Goofy and Donald laughed together. A little imagination was really all the magic they needed.”
— Packard, M. (1990). Donald’s Magic Stone. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
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