Who doesn’t like hot steaming bowls of soup? Especially during cold winter evenings. From that complimentary cup of soup from my regular momo vendor to the rich ramen broth at my favourite oriental place, I have fallen in love with soups.
They soothe your soul and warm your heart up, but the thought of making it is not quite as pleasant, and I get it. It is intimidating as well as inconvenient. But once you start making your soups at home, store-bought soup powders will end up being just another thing of the past.
So, I bring you “Making Soups at Home 101”, for you to start your year warm and healthy, keeping the cold far away.
Today, we talk about stocks!
A rich glorious soup today, was a poor unseasoned stock then!
All soups start as mere stocks. It’s the very foundation of its soup journey. Stock is bones/carcass/vegetables simmered in water for a long time till all their flavours ooze out. A textbook stock is never cloudy and is to be never seasoned.
So, the easiest way to make the stock?
- For a white stock clean the bones well and blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water so that excess fat and impurities melt away, and then submerge them in enough cold water to cover all the bones.
- Add roughly chopped onions, garlic and leek (called white mirepoix) along with a few peppercorns and bay leaves.
- Bring to a gentle boil and leave it to simmer at the lowest possible flame for a minimum of 1 hour for poultry, 2 hours for other animal bones and 30 mins for fish and vegetables. Except for fish, you can go as long as you want.
- For a brown stock, it’s the same process but instead of blanching just roast or fry the bones or vegetables. Add carrots as well.
- If there is scum floating on top gently remove with a large spoon and strain. Your stock is ready for its soup journey.
My advice would be to make it in larger quantities, reduce it after straining and freeze in ice trays! These cubes of ice are packed with flavour and make perfect instant soup. You can even add them to your curries and stews.
Once the stock making is conquered, let us venture towards treating that stock right and making delicious soup!
Until Next Time.