Making soup without stock cubes is actually one of the tastiest ways to prepare this classic dish and do away with your dependence on dry bouillon cubes. Better yet, you will create a preservative-free dish, while limiting the amount of salt that you ingest. Nor do you need to be a master to pull off the job. Learning how to make fresh stock is easier than it seems.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Assorted vegetables for seasoning (carrots, celery, onions, herbs, peppercorns)
- Meat bones (depending on the type of stock you're making)
- Cold water
Buy meat cuts, depending on the kind of stock you plan to make. For chicken stock, use a leftover chicken carcase, or buy cheaper cuts of chicken--like backs and necks--and combine with aromatics, an essential addition to soup stocks.These include carrots, celery, onions, herbs, peppercorns, and other seasonings.
Add one quart of water to every pound of bones on whatever stock you make. Boil the aromatics along with the bones. Add cold water for a better stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer for two hours. Skim off the froth that builds from the top. If you are on a low-fat diet, remove the fat from a chilled broth that rises to the top in the refrigerator.
Once the stock is cooled, remove the bones and skim out the aromatics you want to remove. Cut or shred off any meat you wish to add back into the stock, or save it for a soup recipe. Strain if necessary.
Add salt when you make your soup, sauteeing up the vegetables or meat that you plan to add---along with other ingredients, so you can season to taste.
Look for rendering bones or other cheap meat cuts at the grocery store to make a beef stock. Roast the bones--preferably with some meat attached--at 204 degrees C. Leave them uncovered in the oven until they turn a golden brown shade to bring out the flavours. Add the same aromatics, such as onions, carrots, or parsley, and cook for a couple hours. Some will even simmer soup bones for up to 12 hours.
Tips and warnings
- Aromatics add flavour to soup, so experiment with different herbs, garlic, and other vegetables such as leeks.
- Look for soup bones with meat on them to make your soup more flavourful.
- Try making stocks from different meats. Fish stock can be made by taking bones, and fish heads. Boil them both for an hour, then removing the bones and straining. Follow with an hour of simmering.
- Wait to add salt to your broth while making your soup. This way, you can season to taste.
- Be careful not to boil your pot over.
- Carefully strain out all bones.
- Stock will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator---so use it right away for best results. You can also put store it in freezer-safe containers for later use.
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