One of my favourite legends is that about sopa de pedra, a Portuguese speciality from the Alentejo. The story goes that a priest knocked on a door and asked the lady of the house for a pot of water to be put on to boil for him to make soup with. He took a handsome smooth stone out of his habit, and put it into the pot. Aghast, the lady asked if he would not also like a ham bone and some cabbage. Well, yes, she could put those in the pot if she wished, but they were not necessary.