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Illinois hunting and fishing

Moses Allen assists Omonike Ayorinde down a steep section of trail Sunday at Carpenter Park in Sherman during the annual Stone Soup Hike. Photos by Jason Johnson.

Stone soup hike a New Year’s tradition

January 02, 2012 at 08:22 AM

The State Journal-Register

Before Carrie Jo Stucki says goodbye to her 20s, she said she wants to end this decade of her life trying new things and meeting new people.

As her New Year’s resolution, she set out to make that happen on the first day of 2012. Stucki joined about 15 other people for a 45-minute hike through Carpenter Park, on the north bank of the Sangamon River near The Rail Golf Course, and a homemade soup meal afterward.

The Stone Soup Hike, sponsored by the Sangamon Valley Group of the Sierra Club, has been an annual tradition for the past 30 years.

Each year, people gather on Jan. 1 to hike in the woods and eat soup made of ingredients out of participants’ refrigerators. Attendees also bring their own bowl and silverware to eat the soup.

“There is not a better way to get to know someone than taking a walk in the woods and eating soup afterwards,” said Stucki, of Springfield.

Bill Crook, event coordinator, said the Stone Soup Hike is a way to bring people together while experiencing the beauty of nature.

Illinois hunting and fishing
From left, Moses Allen, Carrie Jo Stucki, Tenika Beard and Wendy Allen enjoy stone soup, a mixture of brought ingredients cooked over an open fire at the Carpenter Park pavilion.

A vegetarian soup and a second soup containing several different meats were the two options for lunch, Crook said. The ingredients of the meat soup included: turkey, sausage, garlic, tomatoes, onions and barley. The vegetarian soup had okra, zucchini, rice and barley in it among other things, Crook said.

“The soup is just an amazing example of community input to get a result that’s better than what one person could accomplish,” Crook said

Participants agreed the soup was top notch.

Dave Dallas of Springfield said he believes the secret to the soup is cooking it outside over an open fire. Surprisingly, he said, each year, the hodgepodge of ingredients combine to give the soup a nice flavor.

“It’s delicious, and I don’t know what is in it,” said Heather Dyer of Springfield, who also took part in the hike and soup meal Sunday.

As for Wes King, chairman of the Sangamon Valley Group of the Sierra Club, he said his favorite part of the event was getting away from distractions of the season and being out in nature.

“Everybody on New Year’s Eve is about partying,” he said. “This is just a nice way to start the New Year together with good people in nature — away from electronics, politics and other distractions.”

Jason Nevel can be reached at 788-1521.

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