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Added on 08th July 2020

Oral tradition European folktale

Europe Action and adventure
1001 , Audio , Text , Storymap

In this traditional story a hearty meal is prepared with the aid of a simple stone.

Story

A traveller uses a stone – and a little persuasion – to get himself a good meal.

Why we chose it

A lovely story to tell with opportunities for lively dialogue. This was one of the stories in our original audio stories collection. These stories are particularly suitable for learning to retell.

Where it came from

This story is told across Europe. In many versions the traveller uses the stone to teach the villagers to share the little that they have for the good of all. In other versions he is more of a trickster who uses the stone to trick an unsuspecting housewife into preparing soup for him. Often the traveller is a soldier returning from the war and travelling through a country recovering from the devastation of war. The town of Almeirim in Portugal calls itself the birthplace of the story. A statue to the travelling friar who first made and shared the soup can be found in the town and stone soup (Sopa da Pedra) is served across the region.

Where it went next

The story appears in many anthologies and picture books versions. Marcia Brown won the Caldecott medal for her 1947 version. Chris Smith includes a trickster version in his 147 Traditional Stories for Primary School Children to Retell

Associated stories

Soup features in a number of picture books for young children. In Helen Cooper's Pumpkin Soup three friends make soup together every day. Tony Ross’s Stone Soup is the story of a hen who uses soup to stop a wolf eating her.

Added on 08th July 2020

Oral tradition European folktale

Europe Action and adventure
1001 , Audio , Text , Storymap

Story Resources

  • Stone Soup story map PDF (440.175 KB)
    Download
  • Stone Soup story text PDF (246.355 KB)
    Download