I recently had a customer come in and ask how could she make stock – the ones in the supermarket were full of preservatives and flavor enhancers and also contained gluten which she had a problem with.
Now I know it is very quick and easy to pick up a carton of Campbell’s stock on your shopping round but to tell you the truth it is such an expensive way to make soup.
Winter for me is having a big pot of soup always on the stove ready and inviting…ready for the kids when they come home from school cold and starving; ready for when I’m inevitably home late from work to serve as an instant entrée with thick crusty bread while I put dinner on; and always ready to serve just in case friends pop in unexpectedly which is always delightful (don’t you always have a great time when things are spontaneous?)
Making stock for me is just a part of winter – and one thing I look forward to. Often on Friday nights I make my stock – it is such a wonderful ritual to end the week. I do confess I usually pour myself a glass of red wine while I’m doing it, which makes the ritual all the more enjoyable. I believe this relaxed, nurturing energy is passed into the food so therefore those that eat it are not only nourished physically but also emotionally!
My Stock Recipe:
2 chicken carcasses (or beef bones, ham hocks etc.or just vegies if you are vegetarian)
1 stick celery including tops
1 bay leaf
1 piece lemon zest
6 black peppercorns
Sprigs of fresh herbs from the garden
1 piece of seaweed (I use arame or wakame: seaweeds contain all 100 or so minerals & trace elements in the most absorbable form so your stock becomes very mineral rich. p.s. there is no seaweed flavor – my family & friends would have no idea I’ve use seaweed in the stock!)
Place chicken carcasses in a stockpot and cover generously with cold water. Bring to simmering point and add remaining ingredients. Gently simmer for approx. 4 hours (the aromas are great). Refrigerate and strain any fat that has risen to the surface. The stock is now ready to use for your favorite soups or casseroles etc. I salt my stock as I use it for soups etc. – I use an unprocessed celtic salt because it is very rich in trace minerals and gives my soup a very rich flavor with extra depth.
This stock can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen. (A great way to freeze some of the stock is in ice-cube trays so when you want just a little bit to flavor meals you don’t have to thaw the whole lot.
It is wonderful having control over what is in your food. No multi-national food company determines how many flavor enhancers, extracts, salt and sugar (cleverly disguised) you consume. And what’s more it is so cheap to make and so much more flavorsome and healthy for you and your family.