Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homemade Broth - The Commoner's Superhero

I love broth.  I mean, I really, really love it and you should too.  Here's why:  
  • It's super easy to make
  • It's super cheap to make
  • It's super healthy to eat
See, what's not to love?  I always try to have some good soup broth on hand so I can whip up homemade soup whenever we feel like it or our grocery budget is dwindling and we need something healthy, yummy, and inexpensive to eat.

Whether you're making beef, chicken, or any other type of broth, the directions remain the same. I'm sure there's probably a more gourmet way to make this, but my way works and it's simple. You can get beef soup bones from a butcher, or try a local,organic farmer who can supply you with some tasty bones at a reasonable price.  

To make the stock:  I'll usually make my chicken broth after we've had a roasted chicken for dinner. Use all of the pot drippings, skin, and bones for the broth. Throughout the week I'll freeze ends and bits of veggies that were used for dinners and just pull them out to make the broth. This week we had a lot of root veggies in our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) box so I had butternut squash skins, onion bits, carrots, parsley, garlic, celeriac skins, some leeks, and a few other bits of stuff in my freezer. I threw all of my veggies in with the chicken bits and covered it all with filtered water. I added some herbs (whatever you like), a small splash of apple cider vinegar (to pull the minerals and gelatin out of the chicken bones), some kombu and wakame seaweed (full of minerals), and some salt and pepper. I brought it all to a simmer and let it cook overnight.  

In the morning we had a beautiful, big pot of rich chicken broth. Once its cooled down, filter it. Pour the stock into jars, leaving at least an inch at the top so it doesn't explode when it freezes. If you like, you can pull the broth out of the freezer after about an hour and scrape the layer of fat off the top before it freezes solid.  

Use your stock as a base for any type of soup, gravy, or sauce. It's especially good with some miso, garlic, ginger, and some greens thrown in for a delicious miso soup.

A freezer full o' stock.


  1. You mentioned that kombu and wakame can be added. Is there a super seaweed - one that is better than others?

  2. I don't know that one is any better than any of the others. I like to use a bunch of different sea vegetables. Just working under the assumption that they all have their own special properties.

    Kombu and Wakame are great in soups. I also like Wakame in pretty much everything. I through soaked Arame or Hijiki in salads, veggie sautes, or even my fermented vegetables. I sprinkle Dulse on stuff, but I'd be lying if I said I actually liked it.