How to Make Your Own Soup Stock
Making your own soup stock recipes can be scary. You’re dealing with bones and simmering things, and it can seem kinda yucky. So, why do it? Because you’re going to get even more flavor and you’re eliminating all of those preservatives at the same time. You need a really good stock pot for starters. I’d also suggest some fresh veggies. If you have the time and it’s in season, you should totally grown your own! It’s easy and really fulfilling. Plus I think you end up getting better tasting veggies. Here are my soup stock recipes:
Next you just need to know these ten tips and tricks to make the best tasking soup stock for whatever culinary project you have up your sleeve.
#1 Use Cold Water: Why use cold water? Well, by taking the time to heat the water from cold to boiling, you’re allowing the bones to full simmer and heat evenly. By going at a slow pace you’re ensuring that the flavors meld together in a satisfying way. This will ensure your soup stock recipes turn out as they should!
#2 Use Flavor Boosting Veggies: It’s important to make sure you choose veggies that are going to compliment your stock, you’re not creating soup after all. Some of the most traditional additions are: chopped onions, celery, carrots, garlic cloves, leeks, parsley (the whole thing), bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and salt.
#3 Keep Your Eye on the Bones: Meat is great in stock, but most of the flavor comes from the bones themselves. Within the bones you’ll find healing collagen and tons of flavor. So put the whole chicken in, but when the meat is ready to fall off, take it out, and then return it back to the pot to simmer.
#4 When in Doubt, Roast: If you’re looking for a deeper flavor to your stock, try roasting your meat and veggies before simmering. It’s going to caramelize the bones and the veggies to provide a more complex taste.
#5 Change Up your Cooking Liquid: If you’re looking for a stronger base, go ahead and simmer your bones in an already finished stock. This is a basic for French cuisine. If you don’t have time to double simmer, then go ahead and use store bought stock as your base or throw in a couple bouillon cubes for good measure.
#6 Umami Your Stock! This elusive fifth flavor which is a mix of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Most people just say yum! Umami is achieved by adding a little bit of fish sauce in the last ten minutes of cooking.
#7 Take the Top Off: As the stock boils you’ll see a lot of protein, fat, and bits of bone float to the top. Go ahead and skim this off as it keeps your broth clear and helps maintain a more intense, concentrated flavor.
#8 Strain the Stock: Strain your stock with more than a small strainer. We recommend using cheesecloth or a clean tea towel to help remove the impurities. This leaves you with a brilliant finish that is focused on the flavor and clear as a mountain stream.
#9 Chill It Out: Once you’ve strained your stock clear, it’s important to cool it fast. Put the stock in an ice bath and stir it until it reaches 40 degrees F. Then go ahead and refrigerate for at least four hours. Feel free to skim off the fat of the top again one more time before it’s ready for use!
#10 Store It Right: It’s really important to store your stock correctly. It can be frozen for 3-6 months either in an airtight container or in ice cube tray. It can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. I find that putting the stock in ice cube trays helps them be extra handy for sautés, stir-fries, or sauces.
And there you have it! Ten tips to help your stock be the best base for whatever soup, sauce, or meal you’ve got planned. Happy Stocking!