One of the main reasons I wanted to write a soup cookbook was not only because I love soups, but also because I love making homemade stocks and broths. Not only is it a simple skill that everyone should have, but making your own stocks is the gateway to not only nutritious meals, but ones that are especially delicious.
That is why the first thing I am going to giveaway to one lucky person who pre-ordered my book this week is a stockpot (and a Le Creuset one at that!). More details below are given for the giveaway, but let me talk a few minutes about making stocks and broths and why I love it.
To quote my book, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons
Stocks made with bones, such as chicken, lamb, or beef, are an excellent source of many minerals. Think of it this way: Bones need a variety of minerals and essential amino acids to be built. When you make a slow-simmering broth out of bones, you are gradually leeching out those minerals into a flavorful, easy-to-absorb form.
We know that stock is especially rich in calcium, and one study showed that the longer a stock is cooked, the more calcium it contains. They also found that when you add vinegar to the cooking water, even more calcium is leeched into the stock. If you want strong bones and teeth, broth made out of slow-simmered bones may be part of the answer.
Chicken soup is often given to the sick, and many cultures have proverbs praising the virtues of chicken soup in helping people with a cold or flu. It’s called the “Jewish Penicillin,” after all. This ancient wisdom is getting new traction as science starts to catch up. For example, one scientist found that homemade chicken stock inhibited the migration of neutrophils, which is the most common type of white blood cell. He theorized that this inhabitation helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms. a separate study found that chicken broth is the most effective in “increasing nasal mucus velocity.” In other words, it helps to unclog a stuffy nose.
The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GaPS) diet by dD. Natasha Campbell-McBride uses the healing power of stock in her diet that seeks to heal the gut. Homemade stock is eaten every day in her diet, and at every meal during the beginning stages. That’s because homemade stock not only gives you excellent nutrition, but also helps to heal the gut.
Appreciating bones means appreciating the healing they can bring us. But I don’t want to leave some of the vegetable broths completely out of this section. They have their own benefit. They are made using nutritious ingredients like cancer- fighting onions and garlic, immune-boosting mushrooms, and alkaline-forming carrots and other vegetables.For an especially nutritious broth, make a simple one using stinging nettles, which is a wonder-food because of its abundant vitamins. Of course, you can make homemade chicken or beef stock with immune-boosting, nutrient-special vegetables like nettles too! Then, you can have the benefits of both. Just add a handful or two of vegetables to a pot of simmering stock.
Making your own chicken broth can be as simple as saving chicken bones from roasted chicken of any form, or simply using raw chicken legs/necks/drumsticks, and vegetables. Dumped into a stockpot, and strained hours later, you have liquid gold and the base of many nutritious soups and sauces.
But I’ve found making my own beef broth a boon too. It is frugal when made with knuckle bones, delicious and meaty, and a lovely change from chicken stock. I was always taken back by the many (often expensive) bones and cuts of meat required to make beef stock in some recipes which is why I didn’t make it as often in my first couple of years of cooking “Nourishing Traditions” style. To my delight, I found that it is super easy to make and possible to make frugally as well. These last few years have been full of beautiful beef stock.
Rich Fish Stock
The next stock that I wanted to conquer was fish stock. I had a bit of a job tracking down fish bones, as most super-markets don’t get fish whole anymore. Higher end stores or fish markets was the key. Once those fish bones are in your hands, fish stock is so easy to make. I include both a simple light fish stock, and a deeper, rich fish stock in my cookbook. While chicken stock does nicely in a pot of clam chowder, real seafood lovers appreciate fish stock instead, when available. I love using homemade fish stock in recipes like New England Clam Chowder, Salmon Chowder, or Simple White Fish and Rice Soup.
But even more exciting to me was when I found the simple Korean fish stock made out of dried sardines or anchovies. This stock only takes about 15 minutes to make, and makes delicious miso soup (or Miso Salmon and Soba Noodle Soup or other Asian inspired soups).
Finally, I have a confession to make. I thought that vegetable broths were drab and uninspiring. Was I ever wrong. Roasted Vegetable Broth, Homemade Mushroom Broth, Herbed Garlic Broth, even Nettle Broth, were flavorful, delicious broths to have on hand. Yes, vegetable broths are amazing.
But to make stocks and broths, it is really great to have a pot dedicated to it. That is why I am giving one away! I love having a stockpot. Today I will be giving away a Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel 8-Quart Covered Stockpot. The winner will have several colors to choose from.
So how to enter? Well, this giveaway (and some to follow) are “thank you” giveaways to those who pre-order my book. Pre-ordering my book helps me get my book into book stores, etc, so it is an important part of getting the word out about my book. So I am running this one a little differently.
To enter: For those of you who have already ordered, or do order my book this week, please email me your Amazon receipt at kimi(dot)harris(at)gmail(dot)com. Your order of one book gives you on entry into this giveaway. Once on the giveaway list, you will be entered not only for this giveaway but the future ones as well! The earlier you order the book, the more prizes you can have a chance of getting. And make sure to mention if you bought more than one book! Each book counts as one entry! This giveaway will close at 12 pm. pacific time, on the 28th of October. The giveaway is open to all US addresses, however out of country people are welcome to enter if they are willing to pay for shipping via paypal. The stockpot is listed at $110.00 value.
I am closing the comments on this post, to reduce confusion about how to enter the giveaway (as other giveaways are entered via commenting). But please email me if you have any questions!