Home made soups are not only comforting, but are also a good source of nutrients. Virtually every country or territory has their own types of soups. Another advantage of homemade soup is that they taste better too. Especially when they are cooked with fresh natural ingredients. They can be eaten with either bread, starch or on their own, especially during winter. They are among the easiest foods to make, and packet and cube soups have nothing like the flavor and texture of their home made counterpart. Virtually any ingredients ranging from vegetables to even fruits to meat and poultry or as mixtures of these can be used.
A very important ingredient in soup is the stock and making your own at home is worth the time and effort. For many people, the idea of making beef stock or any kind of stock at sounds daunting, but it need not be. It is a good way to use the fresh vegetables from your garden.Stock cubes save time and are convenient to use but should be avoided as much as possible because they tend to contain a lot of salt. Here is a simple recipe for beef stock which you can make ahead of time and store in the freezer for up to forty five days. Do note that it can only be stored in the freezer as it deteriorates quickly.
Utensils: large saucepan, slotted spoon, colander.
Ingredients: one kilogram marrow and shin bones, one large onion, two large carrots, one bouquet garni, five black peppercorns.
Procedure: ask your butcher to chop the bones into small pieces that you can handle.
Wash the bones thoroughly and place them in a large saucepan.
Add about two quarts of water to cover the bones
Add half a tablespoon of salt.
Bring to the boil and skim off any scum with the slotted spoon.
Simmer the Stock gently for two hours keeping the saucepan half covered. Be sure to skim occasionally during this time.
Peel and quarter the onion, peel and chop the carrots.
Add the onion, carrots, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Then continue simmering for another two hours adding more water if the level drops below the level of the bones.
Remove the stock from heat and strain with a colander.
Allow it to cool them skim off fat with absorbent kitchen paper. Use immediately or store it in the freezer.
This beef stock can be used when preparing vegetable soups, meats, casseroles, stews and broths.