Now that summer’s over 🙁 it’s time to start thinking about soups. A few years ago I stopped buying packaged broths and instead decided to make my own, which is WAY healthier. The first few times I made stocks I thought it was a total pain, I did not see how I could or would want to spend the time to make stock when there was the option to pick up broth at the grocery store. I did continue to make stock and I’m happy to report they no longer seems like a pain to make. I have really streamlined the process and I am happy to share my recipes for vegetable stock and chicken stock with you, my readers!
The cookbook Thug Kitchen gave me the ideas I use for my vegetable stock.
I literally make the stock from scraps. Whenever I am cooking I save the vegetable peels, ends and even vegetables I have in my fridge that are close to becoming bad. I put them in a large ziplock in my freezer. Once the ziplock is full I make vegetable stock! Scraps to keep are onions, carrots, celery, garlic, shallots, green onions, leeks, mushrooms, bell peppers, fennel, parsley, rosemary, thyme. What you don’t want to keep are bitter veggies like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
I place the veggies in a pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. I also add some salt and pepper and a few bay leaves.
I bring the stock to a simmer and let it cook for an hour. Then I remove the pot from heat and let it cool before straining.
I divide the stock up among smaller containers and refrigerate for up to a few days or freeze for up to 3 months.
The cookbook How to Cook Everything gave me the base recipe for my chicken stock:
Just like a ziplock full of veggies, I also keep a ziplock of chicken bones in my freezer. Whenever I need to debone a chicken breast, or have undesirable chicken parts, like the neck bone, from a whole chicken, I throw them in the bag and freeze. Also Market Square on Ottawa and Walker sells undesirable chicken parts for 99 cents a pound. And I’ve seen packages of chicken parts at grocery stores near the meat counter on occasion as well.
To make chicken stock you need 3-4 pounds of chicken bones. Place them in a large pot with a large onion, roughly chopped, skin still attached, 2 roughly chopped carrots (no need to peel it), roughly chopped celery, a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of parsley and salt. Add 16 cups of water and bring the pot to almost a boil.
Once almost boiling reduce heat to simmer, partially cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 hours.
Then strain the stock, taste and add additional salt if needed, let it cool and divide into smaller containers. Once cooled you can refrigerate for 4 days or freeze for 3 months. Easy!
One note from experience. I like to ALWAYS refrigerate my stock first. Then once it’s cold I will place it in the freezer WITHOUT the lid. Then once the stock is completely frozen I will place the lid back on. I have had far too many containers of stock, even when I have left a ton of head room, break in my freezer. Liquid expands when it freezes!
- 1 gallon size ziplock filled with frozen vegetable scraps – onion skins and ends, carrot peels, celery, garlic, shallots, green onion ends, leeks, mushrooms, bell peppers, fennel, parsley sprigs, thyme… (Don’t keep bitter veggie scraps like cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts or cauliflower)
- Enough water to cover veggies by 2 inches
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 4 dried bay leaves
- Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool slightly then strain the vegetables from the stock. Divide stock into smaller containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- If you freeze I like to refrigerate the stock first. Then I put it on the freezer without the lid (liquid expands when it freezes and I’ve had a few broken frozen containers of stock) to freeze. Once frozen place the lid on the container.
- 3-4 lbs of chicken parts/bones
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped, keep the skin on
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped, no need to peel
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 sprig of thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
- ½ dried bay leaf
- 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 16 cups of water
- Put all the ingredients in a large pot. Heat the pot until it’s almost at a boil and then turn down the heat to low, partially cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 hours.
- Strain the stock, taste and add additional salt if necessary. Let the stock cool then refrigerate. You can skim off as much of the hardened fat as you want from the surface.
- You can keep the chicken stock in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for freeze for up to 3 months.