Monday, 18 February 2019

Stone Soup - I mean Asparagus, Pea And Parmesan Soup

Stone soup?  Nah, not really - it's asparagus, pea and parmesan soup.  Remember that old folk tale?  A solitary traveller comes to a small village; he's hungry and tired, but the villagers don't give a hooey.  So he tells them he can make a delicious soup from a large stone.  He makes a fire; they bring out a large cauldron into which he places his stone.  He asks them if they can provide a few items to make the soup even tastier, so they throw in carrots and potatoes and herbs and a chunk of beef.  Of course, the soup is delicious. 

I read a Wikipedia description of this story the other day (just to remind myself), and the sanitised version was all about how this tale teaches us to share and be kind and la la la ...  I grimaced, and swore, and told Mr P. that some idiot had missed the whole point of this story which is that people are easily fooled and manipulated, just like Nigerian scammers and the $10 million they will happily put into your bank account once you hand over your kidneys ...  La la la ...  Or maybe that we humans sometimes need a push to be kind.  

green and cheesy = delish soup 

I decided this soup was a bit like stone soup, in that it is made up of bits and bobs out of my freezer, with some extra goodies thrown in.  I knew I had some chopped-up asparagus spears lurking in the frozen depths; then I found a bit of home-made chicken stock, and an old parmesan rind.  Of course baby peas are always in there, and red chillies and garlic, and even some frozen parsley.  You get the idea!

Recipe by Sherry's Pickings:

Serves 6 as an entrée, or 4 as a main


2 tbs of butter

1 tbs olive oil

1 brown onion, chopped into chunks

1 red chilli, sliced

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

330g. (11½ oz.) of frozen baby peas  
2 bunches of fresh asparagus spears, chopped into large pieces, + leftover asparagus spears - (about 150g./5¼ oz.) - or use 3 bunches of fresh ones if you don't happen to have any lurking in your freezer

black pepper, about a dozen grinds of the mill (=1/4 tsp - probably)

1 parmesan rind or 60g. (2 oz.) of parmesan, chopped into small chunks

1 Litre (4 cups) of chicken or vegetable stock

a big handful (2-3 tbs) of herbs for serving - I used chives and parsley

(extra) pepper, and salt to taste - for serving

(extra) shaved parmesan for serving

a dollop of sour cream for each bowl (optional)


Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium-low heat, then add the oil

Tip the onion in; stir it for about 5 minutes

Add the chilli and garlic, and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes

Now the peas go in (no need to thaw); stir them around for another 2-3 minutes

Whack in the asparagus chunks, and stir it all together for another couple of minutes

Stir in the black pepper, parmesan rind/chunks and stock

Turn it to low, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes till the vegetables are tender

Let it cool for 2-3 minutes, and take out any unmelted bits of parmesan rind  (you can leave in any parmesan chunks)

Now grab your stick blender and carefully! whizz the soup till it becomes smooth

Throw in the herbs, pepper and salt 

Serve in soup bowls with the shaved parmesan and sour cream

This goes well with a couple of slices of cheesy bread; simply bread buttered on one side, with a slice of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and into the oven at about 190C (on a baking tray) for a few minutes till the cheese melts


There are about 8 or 9 asparagus spears per bunch, but don't stress over it.  The Australian Asparagus Council (yes, there is such a thing!) says the average bunch is 185g. (6½ oz.)

I thawed and trimmed my leftover spears to get rid of any woody bits

ingredients gathered

ready for simmering

throw in the parmesan rind (or chunks)

simmer away for 20 mins.

and blitz till smooth

serve with sour cream, parmesan and cheesy bread

Sure, it's a funny greeny/grey colour but it tastes great!  Oh, and you and your bed partner may need to excuse yourself all night.  This tends to be a windy experience :=) 

   asparagus spears artwork by Sherry's Pickings


  1. Windy hey? Lol Looks delicious Sherry and love the story and what the original interpretation is compared to the sanitised version xx

    1. Thanks M. It is a nice (tho windy) soup 🍲 cheers S x

  2. I've never heard the fable of Stone Soup. I agree with you about people being easily led. Did you watch Four Corners last week? All about scammers from Ghana. Your keen making soup at this time of year ; )

    1. It was actually quite nice to have soup 🥣. No I didn’t see the show about scammers but I can imagine :)

  3. The soup looks so creamy and I love just how healthy and flavourful it is!

    1. hi angie
      it is good i have to say:-) thanks for dropping by. cheers S

  4. Sherry, I see you're a fellow Parmesan rind saver. They're so good tossed into a soup and your asparagus, pea and Parmesan soup seems to be a perfect match. Loved the soup story. For me, I think it just shows what a good salesperson can achieve.

    1. glad you liked the fable. i seem to remember it as one of those terribly grim fairy tales/fables when i was a child...

  5. Delicious! Asparagus soup is one of my faves. Love how you put the peas in as well!

    1. hi kelly
      yep the peas help bulk it up wonderfully. cheers S

  6. You are so right! We just had a soup like that -- chicken scraps and bones, parsley and cilantro stems, celery tops and what not, cooked to death, strained out of the stock. Then other leftovers into the pot. NEVER THE SAME SOUP TWICE!

    best... mae at

    1. Hi Mae
      I made a chicken soup like that the other day too. Bones and scraps and veg ... so delicious 😋

  7. I haven't heard that tale before. It's a good story! I love how you were able to make this from what you hand on-hand. And the ingredients all work together so very well. I think asparagus soup is my favourite xx

    1. hello again:) yep it feels really good to use up stuff from the freezer...

  8. I haven't heard that tale before. It's a good story! I love how you were able to make this from what you hand on-hand. And the ingredients all work together so very well. I think asparagus soup is my favourite xx

    1. it's funny. i thought it was a really well-known story. But i guess i read lots and lots of them as a child.

  9. I love dishes that are thrown together like this. That's real cooking, if you ask me, and there's a real art to it that you clearly have a gift for. Nicely done! (I'd never heard that folk tale, by the way, and I'm inclined to agree with your take on it.)

    1. Thanks jeff for your kind words. Yes it’s fun to make something out of nothing isn’t it? Thanks for dropping by. Cheers sherry

  10. You mean . . . I'm NOT going to get $10 million for handing over my kidney?!!! :-) I haven't thought about the stone soup story in years -- it's a good one. As is this soup. I'd say the majority of my soups are made with whatever I happen to have in my refrigerator (and pantry, of course). Good post -- thanks.

    1. Hi KR
      I love that soup like this can be made from bits and bobs in the pantry and freezer. Always a bit different. Thanks for dropping by. Cheers S


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