Easy Stories in English

The podcast that will take your English from OK to Good and from Good to Great!


Do you want more conversational material to listen to in English? Do you want to find out all about my personal life and opinions? Do you want to learn authentic words and slang that British people use in everyday life?

Well then, Elevenses with Ariel is for you! Elevenses with Ariel is a short daily conversational podcast for intermediate learners. In it, I talk about my hobbies, my past and pretty much whatever I feel like. It’s fun and much more relaxed than the main show, and the listeners LOVE it! Many have said that it’s like sitting down to drink a coffee with me, although I’ll have a tea, I think!

You can listen to the first episode for free at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Eleven, and further episodes are available for $5 a month on Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. People are leaving comments and chatting about each episode, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. So again, you can listen to the first episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Eleven.

I look forward to having elevenses with you!

OK, let’s start the episode.

[introduction music]

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is Stone Soup. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Soup. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Soup. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation after it.

Just a warning: today’s story contains death by suffocation.

OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.

Stonehenge is a very famous collection of stones in the UK (garethwiscombe CC BY 2.0)

A stone is a big grey thing that you find on the ground. Stones are used to build certain things, like houses or walls. You can throw stones at someone if you want to hurt them. There is a famous story called Stone Soup about using a stone to make soup. Oh, that’s this story!

A pot is a big round thing that you cook food in. You can cook sauces, stews and soups in pots. A saucepan is a special kind of pot.

An ingredient is a piece of food that you use to cook something else. For example, the ingredients to make cake are eggs, flour, sugar, butter and so on. Some food needs lots of ingredients, and some food only needs a few ingredients. Food is always better when you cook with fresh ingredients.

Taste is how food feels in your mouth. Basically, it is whether it is good food or not. For example, I think McDonald’s tastes good, but some people think it tastes bad. I think dark chocolate tastes better than milk chocolate, but you might think the opposite.

Delicious food is food that tastes really good. Often, expensive food is delicious, and cheap food is not so delicious, but you can make delicious food at home with inexpensive ingredients if you’re good at cooking. I am not!

A pile of nails

A nail is a small, sharp metal thing that you use to connect two pieces of wood. For example, when you are making a bookcase, you need to nail the shelves together. You can also use nails to hang things up. For example, you can put a nail in the wall and hang a picture on it.

Axes (タクナワン CC BY-SA 3.0)

An axe is a big tool that you use to cut down trees. It has a long handle and a large blade. Nowadays, we don’t use axes so much because we have machines to cut trees for us. Axes can also be used as weapons. For example, Gimli in Lord of the Rings uses axes, and so does Jack Torrance in the film The Shining.

When something gets stuck, it stops and cannot move anymore. For example, if you are driving and there is a lot of mud, dirt, your car might get stuck, and then you can’t drive anymore. Or maybe you are doing really difficult maths homework and you can’t solve a problem. You get stuck, and can’t move on.

When you cannot get air into your body, you suffocate, like [suffocates]. You might suffocate because some food got caught in your throat, or because something is stopping you from getting any air. Suffocating is a horrible way to die, I think!

The owner of something is the person who owns, who has, something. For example, if you buy a dog, it is your dog. You are the owner. If you buy a house, then you are the owner of the house. You can also own a restaurant, a computer and so on.

If you enjoy the podcast and want more, you can support us on Patreon. For just $2 a month you can get exercises with each episode, and for $5, you get an extra story every month, as well as Elevenses with Ariel, a daily conversational podcast for intermediate learners. Recently I realised that I was talking too quickly on Elevenses, so last week I made a promise to slow down and speak more clearly. If you found Elevenses too difficult in the past, now is a perfect time to join! You can support the show and get all the extra content at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.

A big thank-you to our new patrons, as well as patrons who have increased their pledge: Тарас Кравец, Nicolo Perazzo and Oscar Caluzzi. Thank you so much. Your support really means a lot to me.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

Stone Soup

Once, a man was travelling across the country. He was very poor. One day he arrived in a town, and he had no more food. He asked the people for food, but nobody wanted to talk to him.

So he went into the centre of town with a big cooking pot. He made a fire, put a stone in the pot, and filled it with water.

An old woman walked past and saw the pot. ‘What are you making?’ she said.

‘Why, I’m making stone soup! Don’t tell me you have never eaten stone soup? It is delicious! But I think it needs some more ingredients. Then it will taste really good.’

‘I think I have some carrots,’ said the old woman. She went and brought some carrots and put them in the pot.

Then an old man came and saw the pot. ‘What are you making?’ he said.

‘It’s stone soup. Another person who doesn’t know stone soup! I cannot believe it. It is the most delicious soup in the world. But I think it needs some more ingredients. Then it will taste really good.’

‘I have some onions, I think,’ said the old man. He went and brought the onions and put them in the pot.

Next a young woman arrived and saw the pot.

‘What soup is this?’ she said. ‘There is a stone in it!’

‘Of course!’ said the man. ‘It is stone soup. You don’t know what it is, do you? This town is so strange! It is the best soup in the world. But I think it needs some more ingredients. Then it will taste really good.’

‘Well then, let me go and get some chicken. All good soups have chicken.’ So she went and brought some chicken and put it in the pot.

Then came a young boy, and a strong man, and a sick woman. They all saw the stone soup, and they all brought ingredients to add to it: eggs, potatoes, salt, pepper and so on.

Finally, the poor man said, ‘The stone soup is done!’

He took the stone out of the pot, and they all took a bowl of soup. It was delicious, and everyone in the town enjoyed it.

The next day, the man wanted to leave the town, but the people said, ‘Please, tell us how to make stone soup! We want to make it every day.’

The man said, ‘Ah, well you cannot use any stone. It has to be a special stone. Hmm… I know! I will sell you my stone. Then you can make stone soup forever!’

So the people all gave him some money, and he left the town with lots of money.

Next, he went to another town. There, he bought a nail, and he made nail soup in a big pot. Again, he told the people that nail soup was the best soup in the world, and they all helped him make it. The next day, they asked him to tell them how to make nail soup.

‘Ah, well you cannot use any nail. It has to be a special nail. Hmm… I know! I will sell you my nail. Then you can make nail soup forever!’

This time, they gave him more money than the first town. Now he was very rich. But he wanted more money.

So the man went to a third town, and this time he used an axe and made axe soup in a big pot. Again, he told the people that axe soup was the best soup in the world, and they all helped him make it. The next day, they asked him to tell them how to make axe soup.

‘Ah, well you cannot use any axe. It has to be a special axe. Hmm… I know! I will sell you my axe. Then you can make axe soup forever!’

This time, they gave him even more money. Now he was very rich.

He went to a big city and lived in a hotel. He did not need to make stone soup anymore. He paid men to make soup for him.

One day, he was eating a big bowl of soup, but there was a stone in it. He ate the stone and it got stuck, and he suffocated.

‘What are you doing?!’ said the owner of the hotel to the chef. ‘There was a stone in that man’s soup! Now he is suffocating! Help him!’

The chef hit the man in the back, but the stone was still stuck. It was a big stone, like the stone the man used to make stone soup. The chef hit him again, but the stone was still stuck, so the man suffocated and died.


I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I’m really sorry if there were loud noises in the background. I live over a car park and there are some people in the car park repairing a car, so there are lots of loud noises happening.

Last week, I talked about a leak, water coming through our ceiling, but the leak is fixed! So, some of you sent me really nice messages saying that you hoped the leak was fixed, and it is fixed. So thank you so much!

Today’s story is a really classic fairy tale. It’s a very well-known fairy tale. I think it exists in many, many culture, but of course I added my own twist, I added my own changes to the story. Actually, the nail soup and the axe soup are versions of the story that you find in different cultures, so I decided to put them all together.

Of course, like many of my stories, this one ends in death. Oops! I don’t know why, but I love sad fairy tales that end with death, but also I love books with really happy endings? Like, I love romance novels and they always have happy endings. So, I’m very strange. I want the saddest or the happiest ending and no inbetween! I only want those things.

I guess I just like my stories to feel very emotionally strong. I want to feel a strong emotion at the end of them. Plus, you know, it’s just fun to write death. Or at least, I think it’s fun! I dunno.

Anyway, recently I’ve been having an unusual problem. Actually, it’s only unusual, it’s only strange, for me. The problem is, I have too much television to watch, there are too many TV shows I am watching. And I say this is unusual—nowadays, with Netflix, many people watch lots and lots of TV, but I don’t actually watch a lot of TV. I don’t know why. I just, mmm, prefer to read books and I find a lot of TV shows are too serious for me.

But at the moment, I’m watching a lot. So I thought I would tell you about the TV shows I’m watching. Maybe you’re watching some similar ones. Probably not, ’cause they’re not very popular ones, but we’ll see.

So, the main show I’m watching right now is The Order. The Order is a Netflix show and it’s about werewolves fighting witches. It’s very fun and it’s very silly, and I’m actually watching it in German. So originally, it is an American show, but I am watching it with German voices because I want to practise my German. So I’m learning all kinds of useful words like “werewolf”. Actually “werewolf” in German is just “werwolf”, so it’s very similar.

The contestants of Drag Race Holland

I’m also watching Drag Race Holland, which is the Dutch version of a very popular American reality TV show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is about drag queens, so, people who dress up in very big costumes with lots of makeup. And they sing, they dance, they act. They’re like entertainers. So there has been a UK version of Drag Race and a Thai version and a Canadian version, and Drag Race Holland is the newest one, but it’s a very strange show.

It’s definitely not as good as the other versions of the show. The editing is really bad. Something very dramatic will be happening and the music will be very sad and, just, the music keeps changing every five seconds, and also the English subtitles are not very accurate, so… I don’t know if I recommend Drag Race Holland. But I’m a huge Drag Race fan. I love RuPaul’s Drag Race. So I have to watch it.

It’s dated but good

I’m also watching an old scifi show called Farscape because I have a friend who’s really, really into Farscape. So I’m watching and he’s rewatching and then we’re discussing the show together. I really like the show because it’s very silly. It has very silly comedy. But also, the costumes are really great. The costumes are fantastic. I love science fiction with good alien costumes and puppets and so on.

I’m also watching an anime, which is a Japanese animated series, or a Japanese cartoon, called Higurashi no naku koro ni, which is a remake of an anime of the same name. So originally, this was a visual novel, like a video game, and then, maybe like, 15 years ago they made an anime of it, and now they’re making a new one. I don’t think they’re changing the story very much but the animation is a lot better and the storytelling, the way they tell the story, is much better.

I really love this anime. It’s a mystery horror anime, but is very, very violent. It has a lot of blood and guts and death, so don’t watch it if you don’t like those things!

Also, last year the third season to another anime I really love came out, and I still haven’t watched it. It’s called Chihayafuru and it’s about a very unique card game from Japan called karuta, where there are 100 cards and they all have traditional Japanese poems on them, and then you sit with an opponent and someone reads out the poems and you have to find the card with the same poem on it. It’s actually very complicated, but this anime is beautiful and you learn a lot about traditional Japanese poetry, and it’s a love story and, as you know, I love romance, so it’s really got everything I want.

Also, I haven’t started yet, but I really, really want to rewatch an old anime that I love called Revolutionary Girl Utena. In my opinion, it is one of the best TV shows ever made, and it’s really hard to describe what Utena is about because it’s about everything. But, mainly, it’s about a lesbian romance and it’s set in a school and there’s this one girl called Anthy who is the “rose bride”. So there’s this group of students who have sword duels, they fight each other with swords, to win the rose bride, but Utena, the main character, wins her and then they fall in love, and it’s a beautiful but very sad show.

Anyway, I don’t know how people watch so much TV! My eyes get tired very easily. I can’t binge shows.

Bingeing is when watch a bunch of TV in one go. Like, you watch 10 episodes in one day. I can watch about two episodes and then I get tired and my eyes hurt, so I do not binge watch shows. So it’s going to take me a long time to watch all this television!

But if you watch any of these shows or are thinking of watching them, do tell me. Leave a comment. I would love to hear.

Also, what kind of TV are you watching at the moment? What are your current favourite shows? Go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Soup and leave a comment!

If you enjoyed the story, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. For just a few dollars a month you can get extra episodes, conversational podcasts, exercises, and much more. Thank you for listening, and until next week.


6 responses to “Stone Soup”

  1. Artem avatar

    My darling Ariel Goodbody. I AM FROM RUSSIA. thank-you for your Efforts for teaching with an exciting method particularly for my mind! thanks a lot !

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thank you for listening, Artem! 🙂

  2. Gorky avatar

    Hey! I am from Istanbul.
    My favourite tv series is Sex and the City. Because it’s about everything. It’s really hard to describe what is it about… But mainly, it’s about relationships, girls, boys, life… omg it’s really hard to explain. That tv series from USA, and those characters live in New York.

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      I love Sex and the City! I watched the whole thing very quickly, I binged it. I think my favourite character is Samantha, but I also love Miranda.

  3. Aseel Eltaira avatar
    Aseel Eltaira

    Thank you Ariel 🌸

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      You’re welcome, Aseel 🙂

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