Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Comfort Food: Homemade Soup Stock

“Baby, it’s cold outside!” That means it’s time for warm, comforting, homemade soup. Soup is tasty, filling, and good for you anytime, but especially on a cold winter day.

One of the best things about homemade soup is that you know what is and isn’t in it. Plus, it’s a much healthier alternative than the canned varieties which are often high in sodium. Seasonal vegetables such as winter squash, kale, onions, carrots, and celery combined in a hearty broth make a wonderful, nutrient-rich soup that warms the soul and helps the heart.

A good soup always starts with the stock using fresh ingredients. For chicken soup, make the broth by boiling a cut-up chicken or the remains of the chicken you had for dinner. Add the herbs and seasonings of your choice. Once the broth cools completely, ladle it into air-tight jars or containers for storing in the refrigerator or freezer. When you are ready to consume, just add veggies, rice or pasta and heat.

If you’re more of a beef and vegetable soup lover, you can use commercial canned broths or bouillon cubes for the base of your soup. Season the stock with fresh herbs and spices, and boil before adding any other ingredients. Once the stock is ready all that is left to do is toss in your favorite beef, lentils and/or veggies. Again, wait until the soup is completely cooled before pouring into storage or serving containers.

Soups are great for taking on the go because they can be poured into a thermos or even a large coffee mug with a lid. You can take the soup with you while you’re out shopping, working in the garden or going to work. Not only are they packed with healthy nutrients, they won’t mess up the car or cramp your busy lifestyle.

Pork and Sweet Potato Stew (Crockpot)

More Homemade Soup Recipes

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