October 2, 2018
Every time you roast a chicken or turkey, you have the option of a batch of the very best homemade stock—it essentially comes free with every bird. Making your own stock isn’t tricky, and if you have any vegetable scraps around (if you like, plan ahead and stash onion skins, carrot tops and the like to a freezer bag for any stock-making occasions that may arise) toss them in too. Essentially, all you need are some bones, salt and water.
For a deeper, richer stock, start by roasting dry bones in the oven until they darken. Put the carcass into a pot, or the insert of a slow cooker, and add water to almost cover it. Add a few veggies, if you like, a few sprigs of parsley or a bay leaf. If you want Asian flavours, toss in a few slices of ginger and a stalk of lemongrass. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about half an hour, or on low in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours; keeping the heat low will make a clear stock, and boiling it will make it cloudy, but just as delicious. Strain your stock through a colander set over another pot or bowl, pulling any excess meat off the bones if you want it, and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months. Your stock is ready to use in soups, stews, gravies and sauces. If it gels in the fridge, don’t worry about it—it means it’s a good, rich stock, with plenty of collagen extracted from the chicken or turkey bones.
Sausage & Vegetable Soup
Olive or canola oil, for cooking
1-2 fresh Italian sausages
1 pkg Calgary Co-op fresh soup mix
1 L chicken stock
1 cup cooked pasta, such as rotini or fusilli (optional)
1/2 cup cooked lentils, kidney beans or chickpeas (optional)
1/2 cup chopped kale or spinach (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Drizzle some oil into a medium pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, squeeze the sausages out of their casings and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink.
Add the vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. If you like, stir in some cooked pasta, lentils, kidney beans or chickpeas, and some kale or spinach, stirring until it wilts. Serve with Parmesan cheese grated on top.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
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