“The kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for His faithful servants. Saint Mark the Ascetic This simple to prepare clam chowder is a favorite during the cold months of winter. It’s a […]
“The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it does great things. But where it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.” —Saint Gregory the Great
This is a simple fish broth and it’s also a very inexpensive one too. In fact, fish broth can be the least expensive for you to make. Just make a call to your local fish monger or supermarket and ask them to put aside any carcasses for you from the day. Chances are they’ll charge you 50 cents to a dollar for it, or just let you have them for free! For vegetarians, this is a great way to add the benefits of bone broth in to your diet.
Fish broth has a delicate flavor but strong smell when it is cooking.
It’s a good idea to avoid the larger fish when making broth – this is due to the probable build up of mercury in the larger varieties like tuna.
- 2 medium fish carcasses or several fish heads – such as rockfish, snapper, or turbot
- 1 small head celery
- 1 medium onion cut into fourths
- 2 carrots
- 1 small head garlic, washed, not peeled but cut in half
- 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
- 3 quarts cold water
- juice of one lemon
Place all ingredients except lemon in stock pot. Bring to boil and skim. Simmer covered for 3 hours. Remove from heat, strain add the juice of the lemon and use or store. It is important not too cook with the lemon, but add it at the end as if you cook with the lemon that will impart a bitter flavor to the soup.
In days of old, families went to the butcher for meat on the bone, rather than prepackaged cellophane wrapped individual filets. Our prudent forefathers then made use of every part of the animal by preparing stock or broth from the bony portions. This beef broth is simple to make, like chicken, fish and mineral broth it is very very nourishing.
The preparation of this nourishing mineral rich broth requires no fancy equipment or culinary skills. It is a recipe we cherish for it’s simplicity, wholesome monkish frugality and great taste. All the ingredients are very rough chopped into large chunks, and allowed to simmer for a few hours. The result is a sweet tasting, aromatic broth. It’s that easy.
“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.” Auguste Escoffier
“Soup is the song of the hearth… and the home.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)
Homemade chicken soup: it’s not only good for the soul but also the flu! A warm bowl of it contains rejuvenating nutrients and proteins that may otherwise be difficult for a flu ridden and nauseous stomach to digest.
Whether you find you like to make large batches, or enjoy simmering a pot every few days, you’ll need a large stock pot with a lid. Stainless steel and enameled cast iron are very good choices.
A word on ingredients. Find and use the best ingredients affordable to you. Bones and carcasses from free range pastured animals are the gold standard, which we’ll talk about in an upcoming post.
Remember, eating healthy broth need not be an expensive endeavor. Our farmer sells pastured beef bones for $1.00/lb and chicken carcasses for $2.00/lb. That’s a great deal! Despite being carcasses they are absolutely loaded with meat and frankly it’s enough for our soups and stews – no need to add any extra.
Basic Chicken Broth / Stock
- 1 whole free range chicken, or 1 organic chicken carcass or 2-3 pounds chicken parts i.e chicken feet, necks or scraps
- 1 large onion quartered
- 1 head garlic, rinsed and cut in half
- 3 celery stalks coarsely chopped
- 2 washed, unpeeled sweet potatoes or yams, cut into thirds
- 4 carrots coarsely chopped
- 1 strip kombu – optional : this is a great source of potassium and iodine and minerals
- 12 or so black peppercorns
- 1 or two bay leaves or several generous sprigs of any fresh herbs you have on hand, thyme, sage, oregano are great
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (this acidity allows more minerals to leech from the bones)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Rinse all vegetables well. Place chicken, carcass or parts in a 12-quart or larger stock pot. Brown on low heat briefly on all sides. Add vegetables and herbs and fill pot with cold water, about two inches below the rim. Add vinegar or lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Remove the lid, decrease to low heat and simmer for at least two hours. Some of the water will evaporate.
Strain broth through a coarse sieve. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Will store in refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 4 months.
Once cool, the fat will separate to the top, you can remove this and use it for other purposes.
Broths are a nutritional superfood in that they offer a very simple, affordable and rich concentration of nutrients that are easily acquired by our bodies. Broth presents the body a large amount of nourishment and healing sustenance in a very small volume. A remedy for sore throats and the flu, it nurses the sick and puts vigor in our steps. The nutritional savior of the soup kitchen, the humble broth is a warming comfort in times of need. It is also incredibly healthy and a powerhouse of vitality!