What's Stone Soup?

This newsletter is named after a popular folktale about some hungry travelers who come to a village hoping for respite. None of the villagers – terribly hungry themselves – are willing to share their food with the travelers. The travelers fill their cooking pot with water from a nearby stream, build a fire under the pot, and drop in a big rock. The villagers ask the travelers what they're doing, and the travelers reply: we're making stone soup, the most delicious soup there is. If you contribute a garnish, you can have some.

The villagers are each able to contribute a little something here and there: a carrot, a potato, a pinch of salt. Everyone, no matter how little they have, is able to put a little something in – and together, they make a rich, hearty soup, with more than enough for everyone to share. Just before serving the soup, the travelers take out the stone; then they share a beautiful meal with their new friends.

In trying to figure out how to summarize what Stone Soup is all about, I found myself struggling. Since it began, this newsletter has transformed into a thing I never expected it would become. It's about the things we cook, the things we read, the things we write. It's about the things we care about, together and separately; it's about everything we add to the pot, in little bits and pieces, to make something great.

It's about community.

If you subscribe for free, you'll get to read regular installments of free content, and you'll also have access to a healthy back catalog of posts that I think you'll enjoy reading. A free signup is great as far as I'm concerned.

If you sign up for a paid subscription (and I hope you do), you'll get access to regular exclusive content and so much more. The Stone Soup Subscriber community is an incredible network of brilliant, supportive people who share experiences and have vibrant, ongoing discussions about everything from food to mortality. We help each other to survive and thrive. It's my favorite place in the whole world.

Whether you subscribe or not – and whether or not you join the community of paying subscribers – I'm so glad you're here. I hope to see you around more often in the days to come. Take care.