Not one to let anything go to waste, Jennifer Irvine helps you make your own broth using only a few ingredients, including chicken bones, vegetables and seasoning.
By definition, broth is a savoury liquid made from water, in which bones, meat or vegetables are simmered. It can be eaten alone or provide the basis for a soup, sauce or gravy. It also freezes well.
I like to experiment by adding in different vegetables and I tend to use those that are in season. Including leeks, potatoes and cabbage really brings the broth together and adds in so much goodness. I precook the vegetables and chop them into small pieces so the broth is still drinkable – I like to serve it in large mugs so it feels like a comforting drink. My children love a cup of broth and it’s an easy way to get a wide range of vegetables into their diet. Here’s how I make it…
The base stock
This is the most important part of any soup or broth. It involves a few hours of slow-cooking but very little prep. I use leftover chicken bones and 1 litre of water. You can use chicken bones that are raw, but I find the ones that are left over from a roast give the best flavour.
- Put the chicken bones in a large pan and pour over enough cold water to cover them. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a couple of hours.
- Add the vegetables to the pan (you can even include some peelings) with some garlic. I prefer to keep my broth fairly basic as I can then add flavourings later (see right). Allow to cool, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, bring the stock back to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Remove and throw away the bones. Continue to heat the stock to reduce the liquid to your preferred quantity and intensity.
How to enjoy it:
- Simply heat and serve in a mug.
- Turn it into something more filling by adding cut leftover cooked chicken and any cooked vegetables you like, then warming through.
- Add an Asian twist by adding finely grated fresh ginger, thinly sliced garlic, soy sauce and serve with noodles.
- Make it Italian by adding tomatoes, herbs and drained white beans.
- Add a Middle Eastern twist with warming spices and chickpeas.