If there is one thing I love in this whole wide wide world that we live in- it is homemade soup. Nothing soothes the soul more. In winter time, soup will always be number 1 in this household, hence another soup recipe.
It seems to be all the rage these days to have homemade bone broth. Many restaurants serve bone broth before your meal in my neck of the woods. Bone broth? I’ve been making it for years, only we always called it stock. Whatever you want to call it – it is delicious and packs in a mighty bowl of nutrition which always puts a smile on my face. There is nothing better on a cold winter night than a great bowl of soup. There are a few posts on this blog about making stock/bone broth from scratch but will do a more detailed recap here.
We go to a local restaurant from time to time for a nutritious gluten free brunch (all organic using local farm fresh ingredients), and once in a while I will buy their frozen “made from scratch” chicken bone broth. It is delicious. They say they simmer their bone broth for 12 hours. Interestingly enough, I usually simmer mine 6-8 hours and seem to get a “firmer” more gelatinous consistency with my soup compared to theirs. Hmmm….wonder what the difference is?
I am diligent about saving roasted organic chicken carcasses to freeze. (my dear husband has said I am an anal freak when it comes to freezing chicken carcasses….and he is right!) Usually there will always be 3 carcasses in the freezer at some point. Today, there were 3 good size (not small) chicken carcasses, along with various bones from cooked chicken breasts, legs etc. If there is left over chicken from the night before, the meat is cut off the bone and the bones go into the “chicken bone” bag in the freezer.
There are many recipes out there suggesting you make bone broth in a crock pot. Sorry to say it, but it makes me cringe! The reason being, is it is vital to skim the foam off the top of the soup – that is all of the impurities coming out of the bones. Who wants to eat that? It looks nasty and smells even worse. I have not seen a crock pot recipe yet, that says to skim off the foam when using a crock pot. Perhaps there are some recipes out there and I’ve missed them? In any event, with the end result you want a rich, CLEAR, very gelatinous broth and by skimming the foam off it will be beautiful bone broth. Many recipes also suggest to add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to bring out the nutrients of the bones – something I have never done before and yet we still end up with great tasting, rich gelatinous broth.
Some chefs say no aromatics. No aromatics? Not in my world – they add a depth and richness to the soup that in my humble opinion adds more flavor. More flavor is always a good thing!
With 3 chicken carcasses and various other bones we ended up with 13 1/2 cups of rich broth. 6 1/2 cups went into the freezer (canning jars are great for this – just refrigerate over nite then freeze the next morning.)
CHICKEN BONE BROTH:
3-4 organic roasted chicken bone carcasses and various other bone parts
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
bunch of fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
5 fresh sage leaves
2 large Bay leaves
5 roughly chopped shallots (leave the skin on, cut off the root – the skin also adds color)
2 celery stalks, leaves included
3 green leek tops, well rinsed (optional – they were in the fridge so in they went)
Add all of the ingredients to a large stock pot. Cover with water. Bring to a steady bubbling boil. Using a flat large spoon (or something similar) begin removing the foam. This should take a good 20-30 min. on and off skimming. Discard that yuck!
Then turn down to a very low low heat. The bone broth wants to just pop up with a few bubbles of simmer like a “glug glug” here and there throughout the soup. Monitor the heat to maintain this level and continue to cook for 6-8 hours. No worries – while the bone broth was on the stove I went grocery shopping, banking, did laundry – no need to monitor the broth the whole 6-8 hours. (I love making soup on my day off – yay!)
Very Important: after 6-8 hours strain off the broth. I use a colander to strain the bones veggies etc. into a very large stainless steel bowl. Then I place a fine sieve over an 8 cup measuring cup and strain the broth in batches.
CHICKEN BONE BROTH WILD RICE VEGETABLE SOUP:
7 cups chicken bone broth
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes including liquid – chop up the tomatoes into chunks
4 small shallots, halved, then sliced
3 swiss chard leaves and stems, chopped small – spinach is lovely here too
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 leeks, white part rinsed well, sliced in half and chopped
2/3 cup rutabaga chop small
Cooked wild rice – cook just under 1/2 cup wild rice (or make 2/3 cup rice for a thicker soup) (we use Lundberg blend wild rice) cook as per directions
season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Bring the bone broth and tomatoes plus their juice to a simmer. Add the rutabaga. 10 minutes later, add in the rest of the vegetables. Simmer until tender. Add in the wild rice and serve piping hot with some great gluten free bread or buns. – Enjoy this nutritious, healthy and delicious soup – it will make you happy!