It isn’t Lunch Without Soup

I realize that all of my recipes so far have been liquid-based. I do chew dear readers, but since I have some stomach issues I’m a sucker for anything that can be slurped. Which brings me to today’s post: bone broth! Broth made of bones is essential in traditional food preparation for much of the world and is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  It also happens to be incredibly easy to make and affordable. In our house it is definately becoming a staple!

Soup has long been one of my favorite foods. It warms you on a chilly day and in the summer it helps you sweat thus cooling you down. It is like a big hug from the inside out. I have fond memories of stock pots simmering all day in the kitchen’s of the beautiful strong women who helped raise me. I can actually smell it when I close my eyes. I would often turn my nose up at these soups because as as a child growing up in the United States I preferred Campbell’s Soup. This would begin to change when I started to really examine what I was eating.

Then over the summer I went to Ecuador where someone said something that I really took to heart, “It just isn’t lunch without soup”. Perhaps to you it seems silly or like a simple passing comment, but since then I have been incorporating more soup into my diet. I started with pre-made broth, but it does not offer the same nutritional benefits. Now, I am trying to drink a little home-made bone broth everyday which isn’t difficult as you can use it in so many things. Making it has become a regular part of my weekly schedule that has not cost me much extra time or money at all.

If my post hasn’t convinced you (or even if it has) to make your own then I suggest you read this by the Weston A. Price foundation. It has tons of  helpful information/tips on bone broth.

Chicken Soup photo by Allison Corbett

Chicken Soup photo by Allison Corbett

Here is what you will need to get started:

Stock pot/crock pot (honestly I know very little about crock pots so if you use one you are on your own)
Soup bones (we get ours from a local food cooperative, but I am sure you can get them from any butcher)
Vegetable peelings/trimmings/tops (this adds flavor and nutrients. I usually throw in garlic, bits of onion and whatever vegetable part I might otherwise compost)
Vinegar (Draws out calcium. I find apple cider vinegar to taste best)

I am not great at measuring, but I use about two pounds of bones + veggies to a pretty full stock pot (2 litresish) of water and add a few good splashes of vinegar.

Directions:

1. Bake the bones at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. This step is optional, but I find the taste to be richer and the soup to be less fatty which saves you from having to skim so much fat.

2. Put everything into a stock pot. Cover with water, then add more water to cover by 1- 1/2″.

3. Cook on medium heat till the liquid boils. Lower the heat to minimum, keep the broth at a low simmer. There should be just a few small bubbles breaking the surface of the liquid.

4. Cover the pot and let simmer for the next 8-24 hours. If you must, stir once in a while, but keep that to a minimum. Skim fat to improve taste if you did not bake the bones.

5.Allow the broth to cool, then skim fat off and strain. Compost vegetables; save any meat that comes off the bones if you wish.

Results:

"Warms my cold cold heart!"

“Warms my cold cold heart!”

Honestly, making bone broth soups is one of the best health decisions I’ve made in a long time. I cannot recommend it enough.

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