Rooted In Wonder:
Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation
Master Naturalist, Bible teacher, author, wife, and mama of four! Join our adventures of discovering God while adventuring in creation.
Broth. Broth is the foundation, the essence, the character and identity of a soup. And so it goes without saying that you cannot find the beginnings of an extraordinary soup within a box or a can.
Modern day food has given us a convenient option for broth found on the shelves of our supermarkets, but homemade broth can make the difference between a good or a great soup.
Homemade broth is essential in making a delicious soup. It serves as the base of flavor; so deep and complex, yet so very, very beautiful in simplicity.
Why a whole chicken? Until recently I only used chicken carcasses for making broth. Thanks to Alice Waters (Chef Owner of Chez Panisse), I will never again make chicken broth without a whole chicken! As Alice Waters explains in her cookbook The Art of Simple Food:
And boy was she ever right! I could not believe the difference in my broth when I began using a whole chicken. I had a deep, rich, flavorful broth ready in 3-4 hours instead of the 7-8 hours it took with only bones. The meat of the chicken produces a wholly different broth, one with much more character.
Once you are done making your broth, pull the cooked chicken from the bones. Store it in the fridge for adding to meals throughout the week, or add some right back into your strained broth with some vegetables and homemade noodles for a delicious soup!
Why vinegar? Vinegar aids in extracting the minerals and nutrients from the bones and making them available to you in the broth. Anytime I make a broth or braise meat on the bone I always add a touch of acid to draw the nutrients out.
Why cold water? The flavor is drawn out from the meat and bones as the water slowly heats up to a boil. How much water you add depends on the type of broth you are aiming for. Just barely submerging the chicken in water will produce a deeper, more flavorful broth. Adding more water will result in a lighter, more delicate broth.
The Desired simmer: It is important that your broth be lowered to a simmer right away. Prolonged boiling will make your broth murky and greasy.
As Alice Waters explains in The Art of Simple Food: “Cook the broth at a simmer, which means at a very gentle boil with bubbles just breaking the surface of the liquid at irregular intervals”
Don’t ditch the fat! The fat adds a whole lot of great flavor to your broth, and if you are using a truly free-range chicken, the fat also packs a whole lot of nutrients!
When we began making our own broth, our soups, and really our cooking as a whole transformed. Making our own broth taught us that as we invest time into our food, there is a phenomenal return in both flavor and nutrition. It strengthened our belief that modern day food has gone awry with its promise of speed and convenience, a promise which robs us of the better things food has to offer. And it has shown us that at its core, food should not be fast. Hmmm, and all this learned from a pot of simmering broth.
Besides the exceptional flavor, homemade broth also provides a whole host of benefits to the health of your joints, ligaments, bones, and skin! Stay tuned on Monday when I’ll discuss how eating bone broth can help protect you from joint pain, bone loss, arthritis, wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks! I will also share a recipe for one of our family’s favorite soups: Roasted pepper, chicken, and bean soup!
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!