Growing up, soup was as basic as bread at our table. And it was the broth that played the starring role; vegetables and meat were an occasional and unnecessary accompaniment.
Nowadays, many shun tradtional fare in favor of plant based diets, and all for good reason. I too am eating far less animal protein than ever, and when I do, I look for organic sources, or at least "naturally raised, steroid and hormone free" meats. So for this, and every recipe that includes meat, I recommend sourcing the cleanest, free ranged, grass fed, organic, beautiful meat your wallet will allow. You will definitely notice the difference and your body will too! And by all means, eat less of the stuff, like once or twice a week is sufficient...really!
The humble bowl of broth centers the soul, returning us to home plate when life has spun out of control. Winter's very first week comes with all the holiday cheer, lavish feasting and hearty gatherings that end with the guilt of indulgence and expanding waist lines. Recipes with umpteen ingredients, creamy sauces and expensive garnishes have left me spoiled and exhausted. I don't know about you, but I've had enough extravagance for now!
So there I was, turkey breasts boned, flattened and ready to be stuffed and rolled...and a pile of turkey bones...lots of bones indeed! Perfect! Just add water, a bit of salt, simmer on low for a few hours and voila!...bone broth, the humble beginning of culinary genius! Who needs meat?! If you choose to simmer a whole bird, or some other meaty hunk, you can save the meat for another use (like chicken salad or pulled pork, yes I said pork, which makes the most amazing broth!).
So stop buying canned and boxed "culinary stock"! They're nothing more than diluted briney concoctions that will never deliver the nutrients you're really looking for. The following recipe is more about providing you with a method of cooking up a glorious pot of heart warming goodness. Though I used turkey in this post, you may prefer a whole chicken, pork rib bones (one of the very best tasting soups!), those beef bones left over from your standing rib roast, be they raw or roasted. Soup is not rocket science! It's the most basic and delicious fare, easy to prepare, and you need to know why REAL chicken soup is so good for the soul!
So here's my very basic method for the kindest and most virtuous bowl of golden love. It's restorative, it's homey, it's cleansing and just what you need when it's time to lighten up! Enjoy!
3-4 pounds chicken, turkey or any other bone, raw or roasted
1-2 large onions, large diced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large ribs celery, large diced
1/2 pound carrots, large diced or sliced
2 large parsnips, large diced or sliced
salt to taste
Into an 8-10 quart stock pot, place raw or roasted bones. If they have meat, you may remove the meat or leave the meat on. You should have several pounds of bones.
Cover bones with cold water, filling the pot to about 2/3-3/4 full. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a low simmer, uncovered, skimming off the foam as it begins to cook. This will keep the broth clear. Simmer very low. Allowing it to boil hard will produce a cloudy soup, though the flavor will not be affected. Simmer for at least 2-3 hours for chicken or turkey, uncovered. Pork should simmer for 3-4 hours, beef for 4 or more hours. Cover and chill over night.
Next day, when ready to make the soup, remove excess fat and reheat just enough to melt the gelatinized broth and to strain the bones out.
In a separate large pot, sweat the onions in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the rest of the vegetables and strain the broth over the vegetables. Bring to a low simmer, add salt if needed. Simmer 30 minutes, until vegetabels are tender.