When cold months set in, there's nothing better than a warm bowl of homemade soup. Even going back to my Broccoli and Cheddar soup, you can see that at the base of every delicious soup there is an even more delicious stock. Often times I will use the boxed stock from Campbells or Knorr, but when I can I make big, big batches of homemade stuff. This helps me control seasonings, sodium and of course quality. It's always nice to know exactly what you're putting in your body.
Stock can be a bit fickle, and is definitely time consuming-it's best to make it in big batches and freeze in jars in the freezer. I use 1L and 500ml mason jars, and leave around 2" of space at the top for expansion.
At the base of any stock is bones. Using the bones from turkey, beef, chicken, lamb, duck etc.- will not only use every part of the animal (which is important for waste), but it will give you the absolute best stock. The bones contain gelatin, and when you slowly simmer gelatin out of bones you create a rich stock that has a luxurious mouth feel. Have you ever bellied up to a big bowl of soup at a restaurant and wondered just how their stock/broth was so silky and delicious? Gelatin!
In order to extract the maximum amount of gelatin, and to maintain clarity, the liquid needs to simmer slowly over a long period of time. Personally, I do 4-5 hours minimum, on low heat. It helps develop the flavours, slowly incorporate the gelatin and fats in to the stock and will also extract all the vitamins left in the bones and vegetables. This will leave you with an incredible healthy and versatile liquid that every kitchen should have.
Since this past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, I will tell you what I did. You can easily change out any of the bones for any meat bones. If you prefer to not eat animals, add in extra vegetables (I also suggest mushrooms and a scoop of Miso-I will add that to the recipe below.)
- Bones from turkey (or whatever you have. Ask your butcher too!)
- 1 bunch fresh Thyme ( 1 tbs dried)
- 1 bunch Parsley (3 tbs dried)
- 1 tbs black peppercorns
- 4 whole carrots
- 1 whole yellow onion
- 1 /2 cup chopped turnip
- 1/4 cup miso** (for vegetarianoption only)
- 1 packet of unflavoured gelatin** (for vegetarian option only)
- Put all ingredients in a pot and cover with water. (please see notes below for vegetarian option changes)
- Bring to a low simmer- meaning the bubbles should be just barely breaking the surface. Leave covered for 2.5 hours.
- After 2.5 hours uncover and let simmer on low for another 2.5 hours. This will reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavours. Check in every so often to make sure all the bones and vegetables are submerged.
- Pour directly in to mason jars. If you want to make sure no bits get in your jars, pour through a fine colander.
- Let cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for 4 months.
- For vegetarian options: in the last 30 mins add the miso and the gelatin. Adding these with your veggies will make it too salty and the gelatin will have broken down. The gelatin and miso will create a deep, rich flavour with the smooth mouth feel without using meat or bones. I can't say it's vegan due to gelatin use, however you can always omit that and lack a tiny bit of texture.
- Use any and all vegetables and scraps you have for both meat and vegetarian stocks! Onion peels, leek trimmings, carrots, turnips, parsnips, broccoli stems, brussels sprouts ,cabbage. Any hearty and sturdy vegetable will add a depth. It's a great place to use kitchen scraps before heading to the green bin. You can save these in the freezer for a few weeks.
- Use this in soups, as bone broth, forgravies, sauces and more. It's endless and a great staple.