I can't stress enough the blessing of freezing/canning your own stock! There are many natural broths and stocks available for anyone who doesn't have the time or the means to make their own- but I have to say, once you make your own it is impossible to go back.
Feeling a bit drained these past few weeks led me back to the kitchen for some hearty bone broth and nourishing soups. To answer a few questions: yes, my stocks are drawn from bone; yes, they take a few days to make (oh my it's worth it); and, yes, you can use beef, chicken (fish- I don't, but you can).
I cook for stock 24 hours..12 with meat (if applicable)/12 with bones and juices; this way all the nourishing goodness is pulled into the broth. Once drained, I freeze broth for future use (freezing some of the meat for emergency meals). *Note: we process our own meat, however, you can purchase bones from butchers, and farmsteads. Also, I do roast any uncooked bones to bring depth of flavor and decrease the 'scum' that can rise.
As far as vegetables..we use what's on hand..soup is flexible and our tastes can vary (not to mention garden availability). Sometimes it has tons of veggies; sometimes only a few..but in abundance. Herbs...if fresh are available, they are preferred, but since I dry my herbs for winter, I use them when I don't have fresh or I don't want to slosh through the mud to get some.
NOURISHING CHICKEN SOUP
1 whole bird, skinned and washed (or roasted beef bones)
8 cups water (or enough to cover bird in pot)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 chilies (fresh or dried)
Place all ingredients in a stock pot (or crock pot) and cover. Simmer 12 hours- low and slow. Remove the bird- take the meat off the bones and refrigerate until needed. Place the bones back in the stock pot and simmer 12 more hours..skimming if needed.
The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it is.
After 24 hours, strain through a fine mesh sieve (or cheese cloth), discarding bones/veggies.
Either freeze the stock in quart containers or place it in a large pot and make soup.
Broth from above (fresh or thawed)
4 onions, coarsely chopped
8 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 celery stocks, coarsely chopped
2-4 zucchinis, thick sliced
1 small head broccoli, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 inch of ginger, grated
2-4 tablespoons sea salt
2-4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
small bunch basil, rosemary, sage and oregano
a large bunch of thyme
chicken meat from earlier cooking
fresh parsley (to top at serving)
In a stock pot, simmer all ingredients (except the meat and parsley) until veggies are fork tender. Stir in meat just to warm..adding parsley at serving time.
This soup freezes well in serving portions or quarts.
We have been eating this soup for several years now; when recovering from illness, detoxing after heavy meals (or seasonally), and after a nasty migraine. Today, well- I am simply eating to get back on track!