Out of all the meals my mum cooked for us. Hands down her soup was the best. She’d usually start it on a Saturday morning. By the time I’d get home from sport in the afternoon, it would be casually bubbling away on the stove. The smell gradually taking over every room in the house.
The soup would stay there on the stove, slowly cooking for a day or 2. Teasing us with its beautiful smell. By Sunday night, it was mine and when served piping hot I’d carefully and slowly slurp it up. With lots of bread, of course. The bowl was never quite large enough.
Over time, I’ve mastered my own soup. I always keep extra stock in the freezer. In every sized container. 30mL shots to add to sautéed vegetables and 250mL pots to make a quick cup of soup in the afternoon.
The list of benefits from a home-made beef or chicken stock are long. They’re totally nutritious, great for the gut, de-stressing, like a hug in a bowl, cheap and not to mention warming from the inside out.
You have options too
- Keep leftover bones from your roast.
- Throw your bird in whole.
- Keep it classic with celery, carrot, bay leaves.
- Go off the path with cauliflower leaves, cabbage and tomato.
I use an organic chook. If you’re questioning if you should too – I invite to Google your heart out.
Adding vinegar.. helps to draw the minerals out of the bones.
How to make chicken stock
Makes: 3 litres
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2-12 hours. The longer the better. I use my slow cooker and let it bubble overnight.
Serve with: Crunchy toast and pan fried garlic chunks and pumpkin seeds
LLL tip: For an extra immune boost, I add a chunk of ginger.
Or for a more complete meal, I add a handful of brown rice to the pot at the start of the cooking process. This creates a bit of a congee.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large onion – roughly chopped, skin on is fine
- 3 carrots – roughly chopped, don’t bother peeling
- 3 sticks of celery – roughly chopped (leaves and all)
- 2 tomatoes, chopped into quarters
- 5 garlic cloves – smashed with the side of a knife
- 2 bay leaves
- Sprigs of any other herb – I use rosemary, thyme, parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
- Chook bones from 1 roast chicken (chicken feet are great too)
- 3L water
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Place pot over medium heat on stove.
- Add oil and onion and sautee for 10 minutes.
I think its important to get some flavour out of these ingredients first. It lines the pot and creates a great starting point – at least that’s what my mum and gran would tell me. But this is optional – and not what I do if I’m using my slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients to the pot.
- Lid on.
- If on stove – bring to boil, the simmer for 2-8 hours on a low heat.
If slow cooker – place on low and let it do its thing for 8-12 hours.
- When ready, remove chicken from pot and leave to cool slightly
- Strain stock into a new pot and discard veggies/bones.
- You can make a new soup straight away.
Drink as is.
Or, leave to cool and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. I divide up into small jars, some stay in the fridge, others to the freezer.