Thursday, March 15, 2012
I use a lot of stock and bone broths in my cooking. I was intrigued when I ran across the concept of what many call "Perpetual Soup." I've read about it recently on several sites and thought it might be exactly what I need!
You can use a chicken carcass leftover or even a whole chicken, or other soup bones, and you add onions (I left the skins on), garlic, celery, bay leaves and parsley. Here is how I did it, and below I will describe how to use it!
You will need a Crockpot. I used my 5 quart size, but you could get by with a smaller or larger one, too. The one thing is that you need it to be reliable about simmering your stock. Some of the newer crockery cookers run too hot to do this as well. If you are using a larger pot, add more of the ingredients.
In the cooker, place either a whole chicken, a leftover chicken carcass from some other meal, or beef or lamb shank bones or ribs, and if you have them, knuckle bones. (I've never been able to locate knuckle bones.)
Add to that a couple of nice onions. Cut off the stem end and then quarter the onions with the skin on.
Add two cloves of garlic (or more), cut in half.
Add 2 or 3 stalks of celery...
some parsley (fresh or dried),
a few black peppercorns,
and 3 or 4 bay leaves.
Fill the crockpot up with filtered water, put the lid on and set it to "low."
You may begin using the broth after 24 hours. Just take out what you need, strain it, put any solid bits back into the pot, top it off with more filtered water and voila! You have the stock you need, and can use this for a week.
You may also use the meat that is in there for soups or stir-fries or whatever you wish.
You will find that after a certain time (and this will vary) the stock will have it's best flavor. At the end of the week, the gelatin should be all steeped out of the bones.
Save whatever liquid is remaining, perhaps in the freezer, or just make it into soup on that last day.
This way, you ALWAYS have fresh stock available with Very Little Effort.
It is important not to add carrots and other root vegetables. They can make your broth taste bitter when you use this method.
Chicken soup really is good for colds and flu. Imagine how lovely it would be to have this nice warm broth available all week when you are ill. Just strain some out, add some lovely unrefined sea salt, and you'll be all set!