Nothing warms you up in winter quite as nicely as a delicious bowl or mug of home-made soup! Imagine some hearty vegetable soup or creamy cauliflower and nutmeg soup – or maybe you like to dip crusty bread into spicy broth? There’s one secret ingredient that turns soup into a super food – can you guess what it is? BONES!
So much goodness
It may seem like a strange idea, but think about the stock cubes or powders that you add to flavour your soups: they are poor substitutes for the real thing. While they add some flavour, commercial stocks don’t contain all the magic nutrients that you get out of making your own broth. Here’s what bone broth gives you:
- On the outside, bones are rich in minerals like calcium that help to build strong teeth and bones
- The marrow inside bones is good for your organs and your brain
- The gelatine in the joints between bones is good for your joints, and it helps you to better digest all the nutrients in your food
- A well-made bone broth gives rich flavour and texture to soup and other dishes
- Scraps and bones from 1 roasted chicken
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 litre of cold water
- Half an onion
- 3 celery sticks
- 2 carrots
- 3 sprigs of parsley and thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- A large pot with a lid
- A strainer and a slotted spoon
- Put the chicken bones, scraps, water and vinegar into your pot, and make sure that the water covers the bones. Bring the pot up to a full boil and remove any foam that rises with your slotted spoon.
- Put the lid on your pot and turn the heat right down to simmer (there are bubbles, but the water isn’t moving) and allow the bones to simmer for at least 6 hours. If you need to, add more water to keep the bones covered.
- Using your slotted spoon, remove the bones and let them cool enough to touch. Crack each one with your hands and put them back into the pot. Chop up the carrot, onion and celery into small pieces and add them to the pot too, together with your parsley and bay leaf.
- Bring the water back to the boil, and remove any foam with your slotted spoon, then cover with the lid and drop the heat to simmer again. Allow the broth to simmer for one hour.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool down completely. Once cool, pour your broth through the strainer into a container. This broth keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it can also be frozen in plastic containers.
- For a darker stock, first bake the bones in the oven at 350 degrees until they are nicely browned, then follow the same steps above.
The amino acids in bone broth reduce inflammation, which is why chicken soup helps when you have a cold!
500ml of bone broth can contain up to 1000mg of calcium - that’s a lot!