Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Key to Amazing Soup

The Midwestern US has experienced an insane amount of snow this winter and it is only mid-January, lets not even talk about the below freezing, frigid temperature. I know I willingly live in a part of the US that experiences rough winters but this is truly ridiculous. No one is prepared for below zero surface temperature. With such ridiculous weather, most people tend to hibernate and I have done just that and there is nothing better than a bowl of homemade soup on a wretched snow filled day. Believe me in a pinch I use store-bought Chicken Stock and in no way will judge but if one has the time then there really is nothing better than a rich stock that has simmered all day. It truly is the key to amazing soup. Now there is no reason to cut or even peel half of these ingredients but I do recommend to wash thoroughly, considering grit accumulates in veggies and herbs. Another good side product of this stock is utilizing veggies or herbs that have seen better days. I have become more conscious of using everything I buy, so if I see my herbs are ready to wilt or the carrots are drying up , I may just throw on a pot and by all means feel free to add whatever veggies and herbs you have, note you may to skip on the spuds considering their starch content.

Large stock pot
1 4-5 lb whole chicken, preferably free-range or organic (it just so happened this was on sale otherwise I usually use less expensive cuts such as legs or split breasts, the key are good bones)
2 large onions cut in half with peel on
3-4 unpeeled carrots cut in half
3-4 stalks of celery cut in half
1 bunch of garlic cut length-wise
3-5 springs of parsley
3-5 springs of dill
3-5 springs of thyme
3-5 springs of rosemary
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1.) Thoroughly rinse chicken and place in large stock pot that will hold at least 10 quarts of water
2.) Place all remaining ingredients and cover with very cold water until all ingredients are covered by water by at least an inch.
3.) Place on medium heat and bring to a slow boil, skimming as needed. Then reduce heat to and simmer for 2 and a half hours.
4.) Strain mixture and bring to room temperature. Use in soup or refrigerate for up to 3 days or package and place in the freezer.


Denise said...

Soup stock made like this is so amazing ....there is such a difference and it makes terrific comforting soups!


The Diva on a Diet said...

Saw you on the Foodie Blogroll today and thought I'd pop in. Stock looks delicious! You're right, so much better to make your own ... sadly, I rarely have the time. When I do, fresh dill is a must and like you I'll add whatever I've got that needs using. A parsnip or two makes a lovely addition to chicken stock as well.

Bon appetite!

Deb said...

Found you on Foodie Blogroll.
I'm a huge fan of homemade stock, too! whenever anyone around even looks like they're coming down with something, out comes the stock pot. once the stock is done, some homemade chicken noodle soup is easy to put together.

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