In the second episode of The Keeper of Lost Tales podcast, I thought I’d include the story of the making of stone soup. Although this story has variations throughout Europe and the USA, with nails and buttons replacing the stone, I often find that when I tell the story to both children and adults in Austria and South Africa, the story is largely unknown. So much for assuming that it’s a story everyone knows! With that in mind, here is a simple version to hear and enjoy.

A few story sources:

There are many, many sources for this story. Here are a few:

  • Sweden: The Old Woman and the Tramp Source from Gabriel Djurklou, Fairy Tales from the Swedish, translated by H. L. Brækstad (London: William Heinemann, 1901), pp. 33-41.
  • Ireland: Limestone Broth, from Machael MacDonagh, Irish Life and Character (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1898), pp. 322-23. and Gerald Griffin, The Collegians; or, The Colleen Bawn, a Tale of Garryowen (New York: The Century Company, 1906), pp. 247-48.
  • USA: Stone Soup from Alexander Hunter, Johnny Reb and Billy Yank (New York and Washington: The Neale Publishing Company, 1905), pp. 284-86.
  • And of course, there are hundreds of adaptations in picture book format, ideal for younger readers and listeners…




Ziyadliwa is a traditional storyteller from South Africa, and the host of The Keeper of Lost Tales podcast. She travels the globe telling wise, wonderful and witty tales to audiences of all ages.

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