Stock is so much more than what meets the eye, it goes way beyond just a golden brownish liquid…in the kitchen world, a good stock IS gold! And what’s the best part is that stock is relatively easy to make, you just need some time and a good base of ingredients!
I like to make a big pot of stock, put it in jars and freeze it until it’s needed. I add it to a multitude of dishes, soups (obvious choice), pilaffs, sauces, stews, casseroles, curries, and so much more.
The easiest to me is vegetable stock. I save up all my vegetable trimmings; onion skins and ends, carrot peels, lettuce, zuchinni, celery, pepper, mushroom bits and ends (eliminating the stronger tasting vegetables like cabbage, broccoli etc) in a large ziplock bag in my freezer. When the bag is full I dump it in my largest pot and fill with cold water. I let this simmer for a few hours on low and then strain. Voila! Veg Stock!
Beef stock is a bit more labor intensive but still super easy. I roast off some bones in a pan until brown and sizzling then add a mirepoix (celery, onions and carrots) and tomatoes or tomato paste, roast this off until veg is tender and browned and then dump into a large pot, fill with cold water and simmer on low for 3-4 hours. Then same strategy applies, strain into jars and freeze.
Chicken stock is another one, I save up the bones from raw or roasted chicken and dump them in a pot with cold water, simmer (3-4 hrs), strain and enjoy! Easy peasy.
I make some form of stock every other week and weekly I make a large pot of soup (using some of the stock) and freeze it in either quart sealers or plastic litre containers. This way in a month we have quite a variety stocking up. We typically have soup everyday for lunch. E loves soup so it’s one guaranteed meal a day where he is getting all of the food groups and lots of vitamins and nutrients and it’s super easy to grab a container each morning to thaw and reheat by noon.
One of our favourite soups is a lightened up version of chicken chowder, Here’s how I make it:
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 cup corn
- 3 md potatoes, small cubed
- 1-2 cup shredded chicken
- 2 slices of bacon
- 2 quarts of chicken stock
- 1 quart of water
- 1 cup whole milk (optional)
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1-2 tsp summer savory
- 1 tbsp parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
Fry the bacon in a large pot, once crisped add the onions, celery and carrots. Sprinkle the flour over the veg and stir to coat. Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, add the corn, potatoes, chicken, stock and water. Stir until the flour is dissolved. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Add the milk, heat through and serve!
***(Sometimes I use2 cups cooked wild rice instead of potatoes, completely different soup but supremely good!)***