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. 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. A stock is one of those things I’ve learnt must be made from scratch. Tinned or cubed stock just doesn’t cut it.
The list of benefits from a home-made beef or chicken stock are long. They’re totally nutritious, de-stressing, protein packed, cheap and not to mention warming from the inside out.
Keep leftover bones from your roast. Or, buy a whole organic chicken and reserve the cooked meat for meals during the week.
The vinegar.. helps to draw the minerals out of the chicken. This is why you need to use a whole chook and not just the meat. And more importantly, buy organic – who want chemicals in their soup?
Makes: 3 litres
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2-8 hours.The longer the better. I use my slow cooker and let it cook for 2 days.
Serve with: Crunchy toast and pan fried garlic chunks and pumpkin seeds
LLL tip: Grate a decent chunk of ginger if you’re feeling unwell or if you like adding extra ginger to everything like me.
Or for a more complete meal, I add brown rice to the pot at the start of the cooking process. This creates a bit of a congee.
1 whole organic chicken – I even add chicken feet sometimes
4 litres of water
1 large onion – roughly chopped, skin on
2 carrots – roughly chopped, dont bother peeling
3 sticks of celery – roughly chopped (leaves and all)
3 garlic cloves – smashed with the side of a knife
1 1/2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of vinegar
2 bay leaves
Sprigs of any other herb – I use rosemary, thyme, parsley
1 big soup pot and lid
2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Put pot over medium heat on stove
- Add oil, garlic and onion. I think its important to get some flavour out of these ingredients first. It lines the pot and creates a great starting point.
- Throw all ingredients in the pot
- Add the water
- Lid on and leave for 2-8 hours on a low heat
- When ready, remove chicken from pot and leave to cool slightly
- Strain stock into a new pot and discard veggies
- When the chicken has cooled, remove meat from the bone and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it
- The stock needs to be placed in the fridge for a few hours, so the fats solidify on top. This should be scooped off before eating.
- Then ladle out as much as you need, chop up some new veggies with a portion of your chicken and let it simmer until the veggies are just right.
- Serve with crunchy toast and sip slowly