This bone broth recipe (or vegetable broth recipe) proves the old wives tale true, homemade chicken noodle soup is good for you!
Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of chicken and rice soup, or a steaming bowl of beef noodle soup in the winter months? Whether you just need to take the chill off or you need that little bit of extra comfort to chase away the winter sniffles, this nutrient-dense bone broth recipe (or vegetable broth recipe) is a great way to make you feel better.
Is it Stock or Broth?
While the two names are often used interchangeably, stock is typically made from meat (with possibly a few bones thrown in), while broth is typically made from bones (with just bits of meat). Bones contain lots of nutrients, so making a broth from bones provides great nutrient benefits.
Also, you can use your kitchen scraps for that broth. Keep the bones from roasts, poultry carcasses, even the bits of veggies that you would normally throw away or compost. All of these can go into your broth, making homemade broth incredibly economical, as well as nutritious and easy!
Broth for Health
It’s not just a wive’s tale that you’re supposed to eat Chicken Noodle Soup when you’re sick. That broth contains many nutrients to nourish your body.
Bones contain lots of nutrients, and adding a little vinegar to your broth as it boils helps to break down those bones and extract even more of the nutrients. Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other minerals. And these minerals are in a form that is very easily absorbed by the body!
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
Yield: roughly 3 quarts (For a vegetable broth recipe, just use more veggies in place of the bones.)
- 5 lbs meaty bones
- 5 quarts water
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (find raw, unfiltered ACV here)
- 1 Tbsp salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
- 10 whole peppercorns (find organic whole peppercorns here)
- 2 bay leaves (find organic bay leaves here)
Place all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over medium low, covered, for 5-6 hours. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if necesary. If it is too weak, simmer it uncovered for longer. If it is too strong, add some extra water.
Let the broth cool slightly and strain it into containers, leaving plenty of head room. Freeze any broth that you won’t be using within a week. (Be sure to label the containers!)
Two Ways: Fresh or From Scraps
As I mentioned earlier, you can make stock from a more meat-heavy mixture, while broth comes from a more bone-heavy mixture. Below, I give options for both versions and a few tips to change the basic broth recipe above for the three most common broth varieties.
To make a meaty stock, use a 5 lb bone-in beef roast. (Then you have a nice simmered beef roast for dinner!) Otherwise, make your broth out of meaty bones. Keep the leftover bones from your roasts in an air-tight container in the freezer until you have enough to make stock, or ask your butcher for some bones. (Meaty marrow bones work well!)
If using raw bones or a raw roast, you will want to simmer just the beef (or bones) and water hard for 10 minutes before adding any additional ingredients. The water will develop a foam that you can then skim off. After skimming the foam, add your remaining ingredients.
Beef tends to be the fattiest of the stocks (especially if you are using marrow bones). After boiling our beef stock, we like to let it to cool slightly and then place the whole pot (stock, bones, veggies and all) into the refrigerator overnight. Cooling the stock like this lets the fat separate to the top and solidify. The next day, the fat is incredibly easy to remove and store in a separate container. Do keep that fat (tallow!) – it is great for use in cooking and frying! After you remove the fat, then strain the stock and store it.
For chicken stock, you can start with a whole, 5 lb chicken. (This works great if you’d like to have boiled chicken for dinner!) Or, you can save the carcasses from any poultry you roast (chicken, turkey, duck) in a sealed container in the freezer. Then, when you have roughly 5 lbs, you can make your stock.
The bonus about using carcasses is that you don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t pick every last bit of meat off of the bones. Leaving a bit of meat on the bones makes life easier and the stock tastier!
To make vegetable stock, we use roughly 1 quart of vegetables to 1 quart of water. The vegetables can be anything you have on hand, but you do want to have a good base of your aromatic onions, carrots, and celery. After that, get creative! Tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, leeks, kale – it’s all fair game.
If you love the idea of not letting anything go to waste, you can keep a zip-top bag in your freezer for vegetable scraps. You know, those onion layers that just don’t want to cut properly, carrot ends, celery leaves, tough outer cabbage leaves, and the broccoli stalks that no one really wants to eat. When you have roughly 5 quarts, then add 5 quarts of water with the extra seasonings listed above and make your stock.
Once you have your broth (or stock) the possibilities are endless! Use it to baste a roast. Make some gravy. Make some stuffing. Or, make some soup! French Onion Soup is a great way to put that beef broth to use. Try your chicken broth in a Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup. And vegetable stock makes this Greek Lentil Soup a wonderful vegetarian meal!