Handy soup stock

Our grandmothers were experts in the art of soup making, as it made scarce ingredients go a long way. It isn’t that hard to make a really good soup – the secret is in the stock. This recipe is a basic recipe that can be adapted and used in a host of dishes including soups and casseroles. You can add other vegetables or a bouquet garni of parsley and thyme if your garden is overflowing.

Chicken bones/carcass or 3 –4 beef shin bones (optional)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic 
1 – 2 carrots
2 – 3 stalks celery
2 bay leaves
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp pepper corns
3 – 4 cups of water

Clean and coarsely chop your vegetables – large chunks and wedges are fine.  Pop your vegetables in a large stock pot. (This is also the time to add meat bones if you are using them.) Add the water, bay leaves, curry powder, salt and pepper.

Simmer gently for an hour or so. By this time the flavours should have melded together and the stock will have taken on a deeper colour. Strain the mixture into a fresh pot using a large colander or cheesecloth. Once cooled, you can portion into separate containers and freeze, or you can use as the base of a soup.

Recipe Variations 

The key to making the most of your urban garden, is to be adaptable.  Change up your soup stock ingredients to suit whatever you have from the garden:

  • Use up fresh vegetable peelings to reduce kitchen waste
  • Add cauliflower, leeks, mushrooms or tomatoes if you have them.  (Best not to add potatoes, kumara and turnips to a broth)
  • Add your favourite seasonal herbs
  • Add fresh ginger or chillies for an Asian-inspired stock