Week beginning Friday 16th October 2020

Why make your own homemade broth?

There’s nothing more wholesome than making your own homemade broth from scratch! I’m not a fan of stock cubes, I very rarely (almost never) use them; I like to know what’s in my food and that includes additives and preservatives as well as salt quantity. So whilst a shop-bought readymade stock is an option, let’s face it, you’ll only tend to buy it if you’re using it for a specific recipe.

The advantage of making your own is that you then have it in larger quantities to actually use and therefore benefit from – obvious I know! Homemade stock is incredibly nutritious; it’s a great source of collagen (responsible for that gelatinous texture you see when it’s cooled) and can help protect your joints from stress. It also contains glutamine, an amino acid that can heal the gut lining and protect against digestive issues. And yes, the “old wives” were correct; it plays a role in immune health and can help with colds and sniffles by clearing mucus, opening respiratory pathways and providing easily digested nutrition.

Oh, and it’s a great way to use up all those vegetable scraps and leftover bones after a Sunday roast. No waste at it’s finest!

From homemade hearty soups, risottos, winter casseroles or even just a simple warming anti-inflammatory drink, it’s uses and health benefits are endless.

Here’s my recipe, which differs slightly from many and a super tasty winter warming soup recipe.

  • My Base Homemade broth (Chicken or Veggie) Recipe 
    I don’t like to use carrots as I prefer my basic broth not to have a sweetness to it. I prefer a “salty” flavoursome broth as a base.

    1 small chicken, whole or chicken carcass (leftover from roasted)
    [For a veggie broth, see my tip below]

    1 large onion, diced in large chunks
    2 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in large chunks
    6 peppercorns
    3 bay leaves
    4 cardamon pods (my secret ingredient!)
    Juice from half a lemon

    Put all the ingredients in a large pan and cover with water. Gently bring the water to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Then cover the pan and continue to simmer at the lowest heat for 2-2½hrs or longer if time allows.

    Turn off the heat and allow the stock to cool and settle. Then turn out the contents into a large sieve over a deep clean bowl.  Allow it to drain so you capture as much of the stock as possible, squeezing the vegetables slightly to release into the stock for added flavour.

    Return the stock to the saucepan if you’re using the stock immediately, otherwise, once it’s completely cooled, transfer to clean glass jars (or any other container) and keep in the fridge for 5-7 days or freeze for 3 months.

    Start keeping all your leftover scraps from your fresh vegetables and add them to a large plastic box or bag in the freezer. Carrot tops, outer leaves from cabbages, stalks and any peelings; save them all and start building up a mixed collection in the freezer. Do wash them before you freeze, so they’re ready to throw into a large pan, along with all the remaining ingredients above, to make a nutritious homemade veggie stock. 
  • Chilli Borlotti Bean Soup
    If you’re not vegan, ghee is a game changer here! 

    1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
    1 stalk celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
    3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 carrot, finely diced
    1 red pepper, diced
    1 tin Borlotti beans (or any other)
    1 tsp chilli flakes
    1 tsp cumin
    3-4 bay leaves
    1 tin chopped tomatoes
    500ml homemade stock
    Salt & Pepper
    1 tbsp ghee (or V Olive oil)
    In a large pan, heat the ghee (or olive oil) and add the leeks, celery and garlic. Sauté for 5mins until they begin to soften, taking care not to burn. Now add the carrots and red pepper along with the chilli flakes, cumin, bay leaves and Borlotti beans and continue to sauté for a further 2mins. Add the stock and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10-15mins until the vegetables are cooked.

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