Photo: Christina Peters
I love fall and winter and I love to cook hearty stews and warming soups. One of the most important ingredients is stock or broth for your dish and homemade is the best. Most of the time spent making stock is hands off, it needs to simmer for a good 4 hours so prep time in the kitchen can be limited to about 1/2 hour. Cut most of that time in half by making the stock in your pressure cooker but I like the results better just simmered slowly on the back of the stove. (Besides it makes your house smell wonderful!) I’ve included a list of descriptives for stock, broth, stew, soup etc. And my recipe for a perfect stock; stock is made with bones and broth is made with pieces of meat and vegetables and is a little less hearty than stock. Keep some stock in your freezer for quick meals during the winter season. Recipe below but here are some descriptives of soups, stews etc.
Bisque: a rich, thick usually smooth soup. Thickened either by pureeing or adding cream and usually made with some kind of seafood.
Chowder: a thick, chunky soup
Stock: clear savory liquid made from vegetables or meat on the bone
Broth: similar to stock but made with just meat or vegetables, not a hearty as stock
Gazpacho: a cold vegetable soup usually with tomatoes as main ingredient
Gumbo: thick broth with creole seasonings and chunks of meat & vegetables
Stew: thick soup with chunks of vegetables and/or meat
Soup: thinner than a stew with less chunks
Guides for making stocks
Use mild flavored vegetables, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes
No oily fish such as salmon
Beef bones with marrow will have more flavor
Use chicken feet for great taste and lots of natural gelatin
Do not season stock with salt until after it’s cooked
For making soups or stews
Any fresh or frozen veggie can be used. Do not defrost vegetable before using, just toss it into the stock.
Onion, peas, broccoli florets, celery, carrots, potatoes (will help to thicken soup also), corn, zucchini, peppers
Basil, oregano, thyme, Italian parsley, crushed red peppers, Italian seasoning
Keep canned or frozen beans such as kidney, navy, white beans, pinto, black beans
Grains (pre-cook and freeze) Add at the end of cooking time
Farro, barley, rice, pasta, quinoa, beans