Although I have little experience with making stock soup, my cream soups, such as my curried butternut squash soup, have turned out quite well…minus the plastic explosion I had to deal with at one point. But broth soups…I haven’t really done much with them. I have had so many people tell me how easy it is to make stock, and they were right!
A week or so ago, B and I made chicken soup. We started by making the stock and, as I mentioned above, I had no idea it would be so easy and straight forward!
We made what B called “Kitchen Sink Soup”. You add whatever you have in your kitchen…everything except the kitchen sink I suppose. 🙂
TANGENT: There’s one inherent problem with this kind of soup…there’s no recipe…no specific timing. For a recipe-following, detail-oriented Capricorn such as myself, this could have proved disastrous!
“How long do we simmer it for?”
“Until it’s done.”
“So…an hour or something?”
“We’ll keep checking it.”
“Okay….But approximately how long do you think? A couple of hours?”
“Maybe. We’ll have to see how it goes.”
“But-…but how will you KNOW when it’s done?”
“I’ll be able to tell.”
“Gah!” *head explodes*
Just kidding! It wasn’t that bad! *grin* What it does mean, however, is that I can’t really specify timing and steps in this blog entry but I’ll do my best to approximate. I also haven’t created a separate recipe entry on my twin blog Recipes from Edible Noir since I can’t really detail the process sufficiently.
So, how did this soup making extravaganza take place?
First, we gathered ingredients….ignore the purple carrots in the foreground as they were definitely on their way out and only fit for soup…by scouring the kitchen for whatever we could use.
Before using the vegetables, we started the stock by simply boiling/simmering chicken bones in water for…well, a couple of hours I think. (Remember…Kitchen Sink Soup=No specific times! *sob*)
We used one of those pre-cooked bbq chickens you can buy at the grocery store for ten bucks. They are awesome and in my opinion, well worth the money! We were able to have dinner, plus make a huge pot of soup out of one measly little chicken!
I picked most of the meat off the bones, leaving bits and pieces purposely, and put them in a large stock pot with water.
As I mentioned, we brought it to a boil and then simmered it for probably a couple of hours…noticing fat deposits etc floating to the surface during the process.
Once ready (“But how do you KNOW it’s ready????” *grin*) …we strained the chicken bits out of it…
…and were left with yummy looking golden stock!
There wasn’t much in the way of fat on the surface so we didn’t skim any off, although I know that many people tend to do that with stock. A friend recently suggested that once you finish simmering the stock, you refrigerate it for a bit and the fat will coagulate on the surface, making it easier to remove.
I know there are dozens of ways to make stock. In the week since we made this soup, I have had many stock discussions and been advised of different things I could have done, which I appreciate and will likely try at some point.
How do you make your stock? Any secrets to share with this stock-making newbie?
We put the stock back in the large pot and added all our chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, rutabaga, and potatoes…the latter two were chopped up by an evil smiling B and his lovely, shining cleaver!)
We brought the mixture back to a simmer….for some amount of time (head exploding!)….probably another 30-60 minutes or so, until the veggies were tender. We also added the chicken meat, both the meat we’d stripped off the bones before we began, as well as any little bits of meat that were in the strainer after we strained the stock, to the mix.
Although the no-recipe-soup was slightly challenging for this Capricorn, it was quite liberating!
It was all up to us…how it looked, how it tasted, how soft we wanted our veggies….to decide when to take it off the burner. Everything was specific to our preferences; if we didn’t like something, we didn’t add it. Our tastebuds ran the show!
We didn’t add much in the way of spices to the actual soup, preferring instead to add to individual bowls, to taste. I added salt, pepper and a little soya sauce to my bowl of soup and it was delicious!
One must keep themselves amused during the long waiting periods between certain steps in some recipes. A glass of wine is always nice…as is a sense of creativity and eccentricity!
During the hours between steps in this soup making…I found a way to keep myself entertained…which got me a raised eyebrow or two from B. *wink*
I share the results here that I may entertain my readers as well!
FUN WITH BONES!!!