I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for cold and flu season to end. With a new baby in the house we’ve really tried to be careful around here. I’ve trained Kula Baby to wash his hands so many times a day… I might be unknowingly raising a mini Howard Hughes!
For us, staying healthy starts with good nutrition so I’ve tried as much as I can to keep healthy foods on hand. Soups have been our staple because Kula Baby has yet to say no to a good soup (I just jinxed myself, didn’t I?!). Several years ago I discovered the healing magic that is home made broth (My first broth and favorite recipe to date is by Rebecca Katz and can be found in this “must have” cookbook). Not only does homemade broth taste much better than the boxed stuff you buy at the store, but you can also pack your broth full of healing minerals. When Kula Baby starts showing the first signs of an illness, I start throwing veggies into a stock pot. In his first few years he would drink this broth straight out of a mug (we called it “tea”) but now that he is an opinionated 3 and a half year old, I have to sneak it into Kula Baby approved soups before he will touch it.
I don’t always follow this recipe. The great thing about stock is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. Make it without chicken bones for a vegetable broth or with chicken bones for a gelatin-rich bone broth. Kombu adds important trace minerals like magnesium and potassium to the broth and can be purchased at any health food store.
When filling your stock pot with veggies, use clean but UNpeeled veggies. The peels have added minerals that add to your stock!
- 4 unpeeled carrots, cut into halves or thirds
- 2 unpeeled onions, cut in quarters
- 4-5 celery stalks, cut into halves or thirds
- 4-5 red or yukon potatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 sweet potatoes or yams, quartered
- 6-10 unpeeled garlic cloves, cut in half
- 1 chicken carcass, or the equivalent in chicken bones (leave this out if making vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon lemon (leave this out if only making vegetable broth)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 piece of kombu
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Wash all vegetables, but leave their skins on if they are organic (if they are not organic go ahead and peel them). In a large stock pot (12 quarts or more) place all ingredients and then fill the pot with filtered water until the vegetables are covered in water. You want a few inches between the vegetables and the rim of the pot so it doesn't boil over.
- Bring pot to a boil and then simmer for 2-6 hours. The longer you simmer, the better. Skim the fat off the top as you simmer with a paper towel. Add water when your vegetables start to peak through.
- When you have simmered long enough, strain broth through a fine mesh colander or strainer into a heat proof container (we use glass). Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in fridge or freezer. Skim more fat off the top as it cools (if making a chicken broth). I keep several containers in our freezer so I can make soup at any time!