With winter coming, it’s a good time to start making soup stock. If you like soup, you really need to learn how to make your own stock. It’s delicious and better for you than anything you can get in the store. Yes, it’s more work than unwrapping a little bouillon cube, but if you have a crock pot, you will be surprised how easy it is.
It’s easy, and it’s tasty, but the best thing about making your own stocks is that it’s really good for your health.
The Nourished Kitchen has a great explaination on the health benefits of bone marrow soup. Bone marrow soup’s easily absorbed minerals support bone density, adrenal glands, and oral heath. Make it part of your natural foods diet and your body will be better for it.
You only need a few things. You need bones. We eat a lot of chicken, so I usually make chicken soup stock. Toss all the bones into a crock pot along with a large onion or more, about a half head of garlic cloves (7-10), chopped celery, chopped carrot, and a bay leaf. That’s it. Chicken bones and 5 things you probably have in the fridge or counter. The veggies aren’t necessary, so let that stop you if you don’t have any on hand, but by all means, use them when you can.
Don’t worry about the chopping. Nothing needs to be chopped too much. Just a little choppity-chop and you’re done.
Do you still have the celery base around? Clean it up and toss it in.
Do you have some fresh herbs with no plan? In they go (but don’t use parsley, it makes stock bitter.)
The biggie is this–your onion skins! By all means do not compost those onion skins yet! Cook them in the stock. They give your stock a lovely, brown color and add flavor too. I save onion skins (dehydrated in a jar) and use them whenever I make any kind of stock or broth. I use the garlic skins too.
You have a pile of stuff in your crock pot. Fill it to the top with water, put the lid on it, and turn it on low for 48 hours. You’ll have to add water and give it a stir once or twice a day. After a full day of simmering, I like to chop the bones up a little with some super sharp bone scissors I have, but that’s not necessary.
After 48 hours, strain it and store it in the freezer. The next time you make soup, you’ll have wonderful stock ready for use. Warm it up, toss in your veggies, noodles, or whatever you have, and enjoy!