For some time now, I have been sitting on a question What is the difference between stock and broth? Google tells me that the difference lies in the cooking time. Stock is prepared in an hour or so, whilst broth is cooked very slowly, allowing time for the minerals to leach into the water.
So, if you are feeling the winter chills, and are in need of a cure-all elixir (aka Chicken Soup), you had better get cooking!! Grandmas chicken soup will take a day or so to prepare.
Some time ago, someone in a lab coat decided to road test Grandma’s Chicken Soup recipe, in an attempt to reveal the magic ingredient with universal health-giving power.
At the conclusion of the research project, it was claimed that chicken soup does, in fact, contain some wonderful chemicals which prove helpful in combating colds, flu’s and the like. It was a great validation to the work all the grandmas who had spent hours in the kitchen, carefully skimming their soup.
While I can appreciate the medicinal value of chicken soup, I have a greater appreciation for it’s gastronomical use. A bowl of hot chicken soup is a wonderful antidote to the winter chills, but so too, is adding it to your favourite risotto or pasta bake. Not only that, but my experience tells me that beef broths have similar health-giving powers.
We have written a simple guide to making your own soup, or broth. Chicken carcasses are readily available and inexpensive, but you can use any type of bones to make your broth. Lastly, you will need a huuuuge stock pot (at least 9 litres). Given the time it takes to make a proper broth, you will appreciate having a few tubs of it in the freezer, for the times when those nasty colds and flus rear their ugly heads.
Note* store in different sized containers for easy use in sauces, risottos, soups and stews.
You will need:
2-3 kg chicken carcases or beef bones (organic if possible), rinsed, cleaned and roasted (if time allows)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Fresh herbs of your choice (such as parsley and thyme)
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1 large piece of lemon peel (no pith)
Approx 3 cups mixed vegetables (such as parsnip, celery, carrot, onion, tomato)
Place all the ingredients in a stockpot and fill with enough water to cover all of the ingredients.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat.
You will notice for the first hour or so, grey frothy impurities will rise to the surface of the pot. Skim the soup to remove these.
Place a lid on the pot and move it to your smallest burner. Allow to cook overnight, or up to 24 hours. Allow a minimum of 4 hours to cook.
Once the broth is cooked, remove it from the heat and allow to cool. Strain using a strainer covered with a muslin cloth.
Separate into containers and store in the fridge (up to 3 days) or freeze in smaller containers.