Sunday, November 20, 2011

HEARTH AND HOME MINI-ISSUE - How To Make Stocks, Broths, and Cream Soups

Greetings, Dear Friends! 

Right after I posted the November 15, 2011 issue of HEARTH AND HOME, I received the following letter from one of my readers. Becky H. from Tennessee writes...

"There are some of us out here (at least I am sure there is more than me) who would appreciate knowing how to make stock that comes out tasting not watery from the giblets, etc. of chicken, turkey or whatever (hate to throw those away). I've been cooking for years, but never quite mastered the art of beef stock, chicken stock, etc. and it's got to be better for me than those cans of stuff! We eat a LOT of chicken so I have, probably, 2 or 3 pounds of giblets in my freezer. Also how about something on making cream soups, so we don't have to buy cream of chicken, cream of mushroom etc.? Thanks!"

I knew it would take me awhile to sit down and cover all that I wanted to in response to Becky's e-mail, so I immediately sent her an e-mail back telling her that I would answer her questions as soon as I could and, purposefully, set this afternoon aside to do. goes!


The giblets of a chicken or turkey include the gizzard, heart, liver, and neck, and are usually packaged and sold separately, or, are located in a small package tucked away inside the neck or body cavity of the bird. This is especially true in the case of turkeys.

To turn giblets into useable broth, cover with water and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 peppercorns, 2 whole cloves, a small bay leaf, and a little onion. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until gizzard is fork-tender.

Giblet broth can be used in stuffing, gravy, and recipes where chicken broth is specified. Cooked giblets can be cut up and added to gravy or stuffing.


What's the difference between a broth and a stock? We all know what a broth is. It's just the water that we have cooked meat and/or vegetables and spices in. A stock is a concentrated, flavorful form of a broth, achieved by cooking a broth long enough to evaporate much of the liquid. When a stock is used, water is added to the flavor strength of the original broth. Vegetable stocks, however, can be used full strength. Broths and stocks both freeze excellently.


Extract nutrients from vegetable scraps that would otherwise be thrown out and use in place of water in any soup. Save ends, leaves, stalks, and edible peelings in a tightly closed ziploc plastic bag or container and use within one week.

Makes: About 2 Quarts

1. Measure 9 - 10 cups vegetables and water into large soup pot: 
            saved vegetable scraps (suggested list below)
            up to 3 cups carrot, scrubbed, chopped
            up to 3 cups onion, peeled, chopped
            bunch of celery tops
            small zucchini and/or green pepper, optional
            3 cloves minced garlic
            1 bay leaf
            1 teaspoon thyme leaves
            3/4 teaspoon salt, optional
            4 quarts water

2. Cover; bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes. Remove lid, reduce heat to simmer. Cook at very gentle boil until water is about half volume.

3. Pour stock through a colander into a large bowl. Discard vegetables and refrigerate stock in covered containers until well cooled.

4. Use stock within 2 days or freeze in desired portions in tupperware or plastic cartons. If desired, run hot water over bottom and sides of containers until frozen stock snaps out easily. Place frozen stock in prelabeled freezer ziploc bags.

5. Use stock at full strength or dilute with water, as desired.


1. For additional flavor, saute vegetables (not the scraps) in 1 tablespoon olive oil in bottom of soup pot before adding vegetable scraps and water.
2. For a quicker preparation method just cover whatever vegetable scraps you have with water; bring to boil for 3 minutes, cover and simmer 2 1/2 hours to extract all the nutrients.

Some Suggested Vegetable Scraps:

    parsley stems
    carrot peelings, tops
    celery leaves
    broccoli leaves, stalks
    ends of chard
    potato peelings (if not green tinged)
    spinach stem ends
    green or red pepper - seeds, veins, ends


Purchase beef soup bones or beef shank from butcher requesting him to crack the bones so that the nutrients (calcium, etc.) can be released during cooking. For stock, cook down to a concentrated flavor.

Makes: About 3 Quarts

1. (Optional for a rich dark brown stock) Roast bones at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 1 hour:
      6 lbs. beef soup bones or beef shank

2. Place bones with bits of meat from bone in pot with water and bring slowly to rolling boil:
      4 quarts water

3. Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 - 5 hours adding water as needed to keep bones covered (the longer it simmers, the richer the broth or stock will be): 
      3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or sliced lemon (releases calcium from bones)
      small onion, chopped
      few sprigs of fresh parsley
      1 teaspoon thyme leaves
      1 bay leaf
      2 teaspoons salt, optional

4. Skim any gray foam off the top as it simmers.

5. Strain, saving bits of meat. Refrigerate. When fat has risen to the top skim off. Freeze in desired portions, or use within 2 days.


Makes: About 3 1/2 Quarts

1. Follow recipe for Beef Soup Broth (above) with following changes (do not roast bones in oven):
     Use 4-5 lbs. chicken or turkey pieces with bone (or use giblets)
     Add 2 carrots, chopped
     Use 1/2 teaspoon marjoram leaves in place of thyme
     Add 1/4 teaspoon sweet basil leaves

2. If desired, cook in crockpot on low 8 to 10 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.



4 cups of milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken meat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

In a 3 quart saucepan, heat oil. Gradually stir in flour. Let this form a paste, or roux. Gradually stir in milk and continue stirring until thickened.

Add chicken to white sauce mixture. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.

If soup is not as thick as desired, mix a small amount of corn starch with a small amount of water and add to soup. Simmer for 10 minutes.


Makes: 4 Servings (6 cups)

1. Saute onion and garlic in butter:
       3 - 6 tablespoons butter
       1/2 cup onion, chopped
       2 cloves garlic, minced
2. Add and continue to saute until mushrooms begin to lose their juice, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes:
       4 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) fresh mushrooms, chopped small

3. Drain canned mushrooms, pouring juice into 2 cup measuring cup:
       3 -- 2 oz. cans mushroom slices (set slices aside)

4. To drained mushroom juice add milk as need to make:
      2 cups mushroom juice + lowfat milk

5. Blend flour into milk mixture until smooth with wire whisk:
     3/8 cup flour

6. Stir into sauteed vegebles, bring to a boil and remove from heat:
     2 cups or 14.5 oz. can chicken broth

7. Blend milk - mushroom juice mixture into hot chicken broth and vegetables, return to heat, bring just to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and stir constantly until thickened.

8. Puree all or part of soup in blender or food processor. Blended soup is more flavorful; unblended is more attractive. Season with:
     1 teaspoon salt, to taste

9. Garnish with:
      reserved canned mushroom slices
      chopped chives or minces fresh parsley


Makes: 3 to 4 servings (5 cups)

1. Saute in fry pan until vegetables are tender:
         1 tablespoon butter
         1/2 medium-large onion, chopped 
         1/2 green pepper, chopped
         1 clove garlic, minced

2. Meanwhile, in small saucepan stir oatbran into boiling chicken broth, lower heat and cook 15 minutes, stirring occassionally:
         2 cups or 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
         1/3 cup oat bran

3. Steam broccoli to cook about 5 minutes; drain:
         3 cups broccoli, chopped stalks or stalks and florets

4. Place in blender or food processor and puree at high speed for 1 minute:
        cooked broccoli
        cooked onion, pepper, garlic
        1 1/2 cups nonfat milk

5. Pour pureed mixture into soup pot.

6. Pour chicken broth cooked with oat bran into blender and puree at high speed for 1 minute; blend into soup. 

7. Blend in:
        1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
        1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
        1/8 teaspoon pepper

8. Garnish as desired with paprika, chopped green onion or parsley

I hope this helps to answer Becky's questions about stocks, broths, and  cream soups, and maybe some of yours, too! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

All My Love,

P.S. - If you haven't already done so, be sure and enter my giveaway for a copy of Judy Lewis's Given To Hospitality - Cottage or Mansion Giveaway ends December 1, 2011. To enter click HERE.



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