I grew up with healthy access to children’s books. Between a mother who specialized in teaching children and four older siblings by the time I came around we had the best books picked out. One of them was about a poor traveler who begged a chance to stay with an old woman along the road. She warned him that she had nothing. No husband or children nor wealth or food. The traveler persuaded her to let him in and as payment he offered her a special soup, made from a stone he carried with him. (although as I grew older I figured out that he actually had just slipped it into his bag from off the road).
Intrigued by his claim the woman allowed him in and prepared a pot of water for his stone to stew in. He mentions that the soup would be improved by a few extra seasonings, like beef bones, carrots, potatoes, etc. Before long there was a hearty soup stewing. When they had both eaten well the traveler fished the rock from the bottom of the pot and returned it to his sack for future use.
Soup is a group effort meal. The more input the better it becomes. I am grateful for those who are willing to share their carrots, potatoes, onions, and more. It certainly adds flavor to my life.
And I can bring the stone.