Saturday, November 26, 2011

Recipe: A Good Soup Stock

A good stock includes four main ingredients: meaty bones, apple cider vinegar, water and time. These ingredients, before vegetables and herbs, will make a very tasty soup base all on its own. Adding a few vegetables and herbs like parsley, celery leaf and lovage will improve the flavour and add even more nutrients.

Making broths is an excellent way to let nothing go to waste. Vegetable peelings, vegetable water (water from cooking vegetables in) and leftover meaty bones can be saved and reused, and the result is very nourishing for our bodies. Sally Fallon has an informative section on the health benefits of bone broths in her book, 'Nourishing Traditions'. Here is an excerpt:
"Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of the bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth."1
The gelatin in stocks is extremely important for anyone suffering with digestive disorders. It not only facilitates nutrient assimilation in those having trouble digesting food, it acts as a "protein sparer, allowing the body to more fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in."2 For anyone trying to minimize their animal protein consumption, bone broths are really great. Now that the weather has turned cold, soup made with homemade stock is usually on the daily menu.

My stock is never quite the same because I believe in using whatever happens to be on hand, and that will vary depending on the time of year or what's in the fridge at any given moment. However, in an ideal world, the following ingredients make it into our stock pot whenever we're making broth.

A Good Stock (makes a big potful)
8 cups cold water, or saved vegetable water
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
2 ham hocks, beef bones or chicken back, neck and feet
1-2 carrots, roughly chopped
3-4 parsnips ends (the parts too skinny to use)
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
A handful of parsley (fresh or dried)
A handful of celery leaf (fresh or dried)
A pinch of lovage (fresh or dried)
Sea salt
Cracked pepper

Starting early in the morning, on a day you plan to be around, place all ingredients in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmer - all day. The longer the better. Strain the broth once the broth is cool enough to handle. Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze until needed.

1, 2 Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon, pg 116

Linked to Sunday School, Sugar-free Sunday, Sunday Soup Night, Monday Mania, Barn Hop, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, WFMW, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Health2Day, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Full Cupboard Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Allergy-Friendly Friday, Freaky Friday, Living Well.


wilderness said...

I make stock from just about anything that isn't moving. I am not fond of thyme but love celery so use a little more than you and I usually throw in a bay leaf or 2. I do can all of mine then make up fresh soup when ever. I also like to sometimes brown the bones and vegetables with a little oil in the oven before boiling. I don't even bother to peel the vegetables. I do peel the onions if I want a light color stock however.

Sheena Cucina said...

Great post! I make homemade broth about once a week, but didn't know about the benefits of adding apple cider. Thanks for this info :)

Sheena Cucina said...

Oops! I mean apple cider vinegar.

Jo's Health Corner/ said...

I love stock! I make it several times a month.

Shanon Hilton said...

Hi Wilderness, I've read about browning the bones, but I've never actually done that. I will have to give it a try!

Hi Sheena Cucina - Thanks!

Hi Jo's Health Corner: That's great! Nothing beats homemade broth. :)

Raj @ Flip Cookbook said...

You know -- I've always been told to add lemon to broth to get out all the nutrients from the bones. Guess apple cider vinegar probably does the same as well.

Thanks for sharing at this week's Sugar Free Sunday!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shanon, your stock looks wonderful! I love how gelled you manage to get it. Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

Robin said...

Thanks for posting your stock recipe. I had no idea about the benefits of vinegar. I wish I would have known this yesterday. I made a huge pot of stock!!

kitsapFG said...

Good tip on adding vinegar to the stock - never knew that.

GrafixMuse said...

I just had a "duh!" moment while reading your post. I have never even thought of saving the water vegetables have been boiled in. What a waste of flavor right down the sink!

Mrs.Pickles said...

I have never made stock I will have to try.

Miz Helen said...

I always make my own stock and broth and your recipe looks great. I will have to try your recipe. Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Libby said...

I'm a serious stock maker, and have never heard of using vinegar before. (I look forward to the stock from my Thanksgiving turkey almost more than the bird itself!) Thanks for the tip!

The only thing I use that you haven't listed is dried mushrooms. We don't eat read meat (my son's allergic) and it adds a depth of flavor to my poultry stocks.

Shanon Hilton said...

I bet mushrooms would make a tasty stock. Thanks for the idea!

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Emma said...

I started adding apple cider vinegar to my chicken stock after reading Nourishing Traditions and it made such a huge difference. My stocks are way more gelatinous now, and more flavoursome. It's a neat trick, because it's so easy to do and makes the stock so much better.

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