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Stone Soup - A Recipe for Cooperation in Times of Scarcity

As told by Cindy Marsh (As an analogy of what the programme is doing and the mixture of things that people brought to the conference that can work together to make something good).

A tired and hungry traveller arrived at a Cornish village one evening, carrying an empty cooking pot. He went to a stream and filled the pot with water, then put it over a crackling campfire and dropped 3 small round stones into it.  A passing villager was curious and asked the traveller what he was doing. The traveller told the villager that he was making an old recipe called stone soup because he was hungry and didn’t have much to eat.  He said, “Stone soup tastes wonderful, although it is improved enormously with a little added carrot”.  The villager was intrigued and was happy to bring a couple of their home grown carrots to slice into the cooking pot.

Another villager walks by, inquiring about the activity.  The villager explains the plan to cook stone soup and the traveller tells them both that the recipe is enhanced with a small cup of diced potato.   The new villager says they have some old season potatoes at home and comes back with a heaped bowl of neatly chopped potato that is added to the pot.

By now the stone soup is beginning to smell very appetising in the cold evening air and more villagers gather, asking about the activity.  The traveller explains that a little seasoning goes a long way to improve a stone soup and each villager finds another ingredient to add; some wild ransoms, some cabbage leaves, a small turnip and a couple of onions.  The Baker’s son brings the end of day rolls to the campfire and together the villagers and the traveller enjoy big, delicious bowls of stone soup under the stars.  They all agree it is one of the best meals the village has ever eaten!