How (&Why) To Make Chicken Broth

Other than eating a yummy bowl of chicken soup (especially with matzah-balls) once in a while, I used to think that there was no real reason I would spend my time making it. I mean, soup is for eating, right? Wrong.

I found out that chicken broth is for cooking with. From soups and stews to seasoned rice and sauces, chicken broth (or any good vegetable broth) is an absolute must-have for cooking. And although you can buy canned or boxed broth, it costs MUCH LESS to make it yourself. And it really is easy.

Oh, and you don’t need to use any MSG to make it delicious! I actually used to use chicken boullion in my chicken soup and didn’t know I could get it to be flavorful without it. I mean, our grandmothers must have been absolutely primitive to not have such a convenience item, right?

Freeze your broth in a muffin tin, then pop out the frozen servings for easy use.

Take:

  1. A BIG pot
  2. Bones or carcasses you’ve been saving from previously roasted chicken dinners. OR necks or carcasses you get on sale at the market. OR 2 whole chickens (this will be a little more work, but will give you meals out of it as well)
  3. Add 2 onions (halved), 4 carrots, a bunch of celery leaves/1-2 stalks
  4. Add a bunch of parsley and a bunch of dill (thanks to my cousin Wendy for teaching me!)
  5. Cover with water and simmer away.

If you are using the 2 whole chickens, take the meat off of one chicken after 1 hr, returning the bones to the pot. Simmer away. Save that chicken meat for another yummy meal.

After a couple of hours, strain and remove remaining meat. That meat will be tough but works fine for chicken salad, etc. Remove all solids, strain soup, cool, and freeze.

Enjoy!

Curried Pumpkin Soup


This is one of my favorite soups. It’s very rich, so I don’t make it very often. But the flavors of these ingredients combined are amazing. I first found the recipe here and it was an instant hit. I’ve made a few changes/substitutions, and as always, with soup, am not too specific with measurements. I’m attempting to measure so that I can write it down for you here.

1 large piece pumpkin (5 cups chopped)
2 large onions
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cans coconut milk (of course, fresh would be the best)
8 Tbsp molasses or 1 cup black rum (I’ve tried both; I prefer the molasses)
1 stick butter (you could substitute oil, I’m sure. I haven’t tried.)
Zest and juice of 2 large lemons (limes would be better)
1 Tbsp (approx) of curry powder
Kosher salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
1/3-1/2 white wine
*brown sugar — you can substitute a little extra molasses and honey. About 1/2 c or to taste.

You will need 2 pots.

1.Pot 1: Boil pumpkin chunks with stock, rum/molasses, and water if needed to cover until very soft.
2. Pot 2: Saute sliced onions in butter or oil until soft. Add coconut milk, lemon juice & zest, curry, honey, bay leaves. Simmer about 1/2 hr.
4. Combine all and blend or puree
5. Taste and adjust seasonings and thickness (you can add more water or stock or wine or…)

Soup is a very forgiving dish. You can really play around with ingredients and amounts; feel free to experiment! I don’t have any white wine today and am making it without it. Never think you can’t make something unless you have all of the exact ingredients.

Serve it up with some freshly baked french bread, a salad, and enjoy!