I'm a big fan of soup. It's very good for you, easy to make and easy to digest. The key to making a good soup is the stock. That's where your soup, casserole, pies and anything else requireing a stock gets its real flavour from. Don't use stock cubes or those jellys which are now available as they're full of crap. Make your own and get the benefit of the extra vitamins and nutrients. I'll detail here how to make a good chicken stock as I think most people are guilty of throwing away chicken carcuses and wasting all that extra energy.
This is the max amount you can make from one carcass without loosing the flavour, so if you have a freezer use it.
You will need:
3 medium carrots
4-5 lengths of celery
1 chicken carcass stripped of the breasts and any other meat you want to keep. If the chicken has already been cooked it's still good to use
2 bay leaves
1 boquet garni
- Take your chicken carcass and throw it in a big pan. If you can it's better to cut it up so the marrow can release from the bones.
- Chop up all the veg and throw that in the pan too, as well as the rest of the ingreedients.
- Fill the pan with about 8-9 litres of water
- Cover and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Leave the pan slightly open and simmer for 3 hours skimming any fat from the surface every 45 min or so.
- Pour the liquid through a fine siv and throw away the ingredients.
Thats it! What you are basically doing is heating the ingredients so that all the flavour, vitamins and mutrients are released into the water. Here are a few tips to follow:
- A good stock should have a slight jelly consistency to it.
- If you have too much you can just boil some of in an open top pan (only the water will boil off and the flavour will increase).
- If you have any other veg which you are going to throw away ie. potato skins, just throw them in the pan with all the other ingredients.
- Don't stir when simmering as it will mix any fat on the surface through the stock and cause it to cloud
That should give you about 7-8 litres of top quality chicken stock to do with what you will.