We are all leading busy lives and the idea of making a soup from scratch could sound like just too much effort when it is easier to pick up a readymade soup on the supermarket shelf.
But, let me try to convince you to have a go. The basis for the most nourishing soup that you can provide for your family is a good stock. This can be the most incredible rich source of nutrients. Bone stocks have been used for centuries by cultures all over the world. It is a great way to provide minerals such as calcium, sulphur, phosphorous, magnesium and other trace elements in an easily digestible form. It is cost effective using left over bones that otherwise would end up in the bin.
There’s no right or wrong way to make a stock or “broth” as it is sometimes called. The goodness and minerals are extracted during the long simmering over a low heat. The finished product can be used in soups, stews and sauces. It can also be frozen for use at a later stage.
To get started you need a large deep saucepan or, if you have one, a slow cooker.
If you are using chicken bones it is best to use an organic free range one. By using the carcase to make a stock you are getting more value for your money. The carcase can be frozen and when you have two or three “saved” up you can defrost and make one big batch.
Weigh up to 3lbs of chicken bones; add to pot with 4 litres of water.
Add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar. (This helps extract the nutrients from the bone),
1 large onion chopped, 2 carrots chopped, 4 celery stalks chopped.
Bring to the boil removing the scum that forms on top. Reduce heat and simmer for between 12 and 24 hours. Add a bunch of parsley ten minutes before the end.
When cooled, strain and refrigerate or freeze. Don’t be tempted to skim anything that forms on the top as this contains valuable nutrients.
So, now that you have your stock made you can use it as a foundation to enhance your homemade soups and know that you are nourishing your family in a traditional way that goes back centuries.