This week I made two kinds of soup, including the stock for both of them. I started making my own stock last year and I have yet to find a reason to go back to purchasing it. I save a couple hundred dollars a year by making it myself and the best part is that I know exactly what’s in it. I also feel like I am being more conservative with my waste. My method of making stock is the scrap method. I keep a container in my freezer and add all my vegetable scraps and/or meat bones. You can throw onion and garlic skins in as well! Once the container is full, I make a new batch of stock. Each batch yields about 4-5 quarts and keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Once the container is nearly full, I start to reserve the liquid from beans and other canned vegetables to add substance and flavor. I have saved pasta/potato/sweet potato water and that works well also.
To start use a large pot and heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the contents of the container to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add 5 quarts of water to the pot as well as your liquid reserves. Left over pasta sauce, tomato paste, or salsa works well as a base. Add some seasoning. I used salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, and onion powder.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To strain, remove large pieces and transfer from one container to another 2-3 times or until strainer is clean.
This batch yielded 16 cups or 4 quarts of liquid.
Sweet Potato Leek Soup
I used this stock to make my Sweet Potato Leek Soup.
4 cups vegetable stock
2 yams skinned
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tsp ground sage
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot. Saute the leek until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato, liquid, and spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain liquid and add 1 cup liquid back to the solids. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Add liquid until the soup is the desired consistency. I used all the liquid, but if there are leftovers, reserve for a future recipe.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Last but not least, I made a chicken noodle soup. I made a simple broth using the chicken and vegetable scraps from these ingredients.
4-6 oz chicken
1-2 quarts water
1 celery stalk
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup mini spaghetti noodles
Chop vegetables and blanch until tender and liquid is reduced. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add chicken and vegetable scraps. Add salt and pepper. At a light boil, cook chicken for 10 minutes or until juice runs clear when chicken is pierced.
While chicken is cooking, cook noodles as until aldente; approximately 8 minutes.
Remove chicken and chop into bite size pieces. Remove the solids and filter the broth.
Return to stove. Add chicken, vegetables, noodles, spices, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.