That's really all I have to say about this recipe. It's an ingredient that I forget about and adds such a nice distinct flavor. As March arrives with all of its Winter remains this soup will keep you warm, but is light enough that as Spring peeks its head here and there it is still a taste treat. This soup also has a nice heat factor, if you want a hotter soup double the number of red pepper flakes and toss half in with the melting butter to infuse the soup early with spice. The perfect transitional soup for anyone that is ready for Winter to be DONE!
In a large pot (4 or 5 quarts), melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring often, about 5-6 minutes, until softened.
Add Magic Stone, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-6 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
Add remaining ingredients (don't add the cooked chicken, if using, you'll add it near the end), stir well, and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. If using cooked chicken, stir it in at this point and let it heat through.
Discard bay leaves, remove the stone and serve.