So you want to make a stock… #sevendaysofsoup

I’ve been making my own soups from scratch for quite awhile. Making soups is easy and FUN! The only reason I can think of for buying instant or condensed soups is because making soups can be a little time consuming. Typically, you don’t have to *watch* the soup as it simmers; you can do other things and just pop into the kitchen periodically to give your soup a stir!

The cornerstone to making good soups is obviously making good stocks. It’s a fairly simple process, but can be time consuming. Once you’ve made a batch of stock/broth you can can it, or freeze it in smaller containers if you don’t have a canner.

Any time you are making stock you will need to have carrots, celery, and onions on hand for making a mirepoix. You will also need them for most soups. When I’m chopping mirepoix for a stock, I use an equal amount of each & chop them coarsely. I don’t peel the carrots, and I leave the leaves on the celery. I peel the onion (usually I like to use white onions) and take the ends off, then chop coarsely.

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This is a pretty good example of what my mirepoix looks like.

There are 4 stocks that you should learn to make before you begin your soup voyage: chicken stock, bone broth, veggie stock, and fish/seafood stock. I’ve touched on chicken & fish stock here before (see links above) but not bone broth or veggie stock. So let’s tackle those, shall we?

Bone Broth has gotten a lot of great press lately as a natural cure-all for whatever ails you. Is it legit? Maybe. In general, I usually feel better when I’ve had some homemade broth. I think the real key here is using bones with marrow in them. Many moons ago (almost a year ago) I made some beef bone broth & posted this pic to Instagram.

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Here’s the method I like to use for my bone broth.

Beef Bone Broth 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package beef soup bones with marrow (they will look like the picture above)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • half a bunch of celery (3-4 stalks), coarsely chopped, leave on any leaves
  • 3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped, unpeeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed & unpeeled
  • EVOO
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Arrange bones in a single layer in a roasting pan. Surround with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat.
  3. Roast bones and vegetables, turning and stirring occasionally until lightly browned (for about 45 mins).
  4. Smear bones with tomato paste & roast another 30-40 mins, until deeply browned.
  5. Transfer bones and vegetables to a large stockpot, spooning off any visible fat that you see. Make sure to pour any juices in the bottom of the pan as well as any brown sticky bits into the stockpot as well.
  6. Add enough water to cover the bones & vegetables, as well as a few inches extra. I like to use hot water from my electric kettle.
  7. Toss in your bay leaves and season with Kosher salt & black pepper, if desired.
  8. Bring stockpot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
  9. Strain stock through a cheesecloth and can or freeze until ready to use. Skim any fat off the top, as needed, but remember that a bone-broth may be more gelatinous than you expect, particularly after it is cooled. Despite skimming and straining it may still have a cloudy appearance when it is finished. This is normal & does not reflect on the quality of your broth.

Veggie stock is quick easy to make, especially since you don’t have to worry about fat clouding things up. It’s great to use in vegetable-based soups, or if you’re out of another stock.

Easy-Peasy Veggie Stock

Ingredients:

  • EVOO
  • 1 onion, peeled & coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch celery, leaves left on, chopped coarsely
  • 1 lb carrots, unpeeled, chopped coarsely
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

*Note: feel free to toss in any other veggie waste from other stocks/soups. I have even made veggie stock from trimmings (leaves, stems, etc) from other recipes.*

Instructions:

  1. Heat EVOO in a medium stockpot over medium until hot. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent. About 10 to 15 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour in enough water to cover vegetables by 1 inch (8 to 10 cups) and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, 1 hour.
  3. Pour stock through cheesecloth into a large bowl or another pot, pressing on vegetables to extract as much flavorful liquid as possible. Discard solids. Cool and store in canning jars, or freeze until ready to use.

 

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