How to make soup or stews more nutritious. Good for getting high quality nutrition into the family at a low cost. How to make stock.

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To really strike gold in these interesting financial times, make a soup or stew using bone broth.  The first challenge is to get hold of some bones (especially after Christmas, ha ha).  And the bones should be high quality, preferably organic. Hopefully a local butcher will sell you some for not much money.  Beef or lamb bones will do nicely – try to get a variety of bones; shin bones which will contain marrow and knuckle bones for the gelatine, neck bones for the flavour.  Bones are incredibly nutritious.  Bone marrow made us humans what we are today; it is a rich source of DHA, the omega 3 that is used in the brain.  For children, this will help build one bright, happy child. Gelatine is very good for our digestion. The main problem is the bones need boiling up for at least 3 – 12 hours.  This will lead to one steamy kitchen.  But making the stock is very simple.

  • A variety of bones.  Say 2.5kg/5.5lbs, but could be more – if so add more vegetables, or reduce the amount of vegetables if you have less bones.  Ask the butcher to chop them up so they are not too big – and split the knuckle bones if possible.
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, roughly chopped – you can also add the celery leaves.
  • fresh thyme and parsley, tied in a bunch.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Splash of vinegar -any, but not malt.  This will help draw out the nutrients in the bones.
  • few peppercorns, crushed.
  1. Heat the oven to 400° F/200°C/Gas 6.
  2. Put the bones on a roasting tray and roast until brown – about 45 mins.
  3. Put the bones in a very big saucepan, drain any oil away – not down the sink unless you want to end up fiddling about with a sink plunger when the sink blocks up, inevitably after a particularly huge amount of washing up.
  4. Add filtered water to the roasting tin, bring to the boil, scraping away at the tasty stuck bits.  Pour this water over the bones.
  5. Add the vegetables, herbs, pepper and enough filtered water to cover the bones, but do leave some room at the top since it will all expand.
  6. Bring to the boil, skim of any scum.
  7. Cover and leave to simmer away without stirring or prodding for as long as you can.
  8. Take out the bones and strain the stock.  Eat any marrow seen.  Completely yum.
  9. When cool, take off any fat that has congealed on the top.
  10. Divide it into bowls for freezing or using immediately.

There is no salt added during the cooking process.  Add this when you use the stock for cooking.  The point is, this stock is so nutritious, if times are hard and meat has to be cut back on, using a stock like this will help to keep up good nutritional levels.  Yes, it is more faff than just using water – but the more attention we pay to cooking stuff ourselves, the more energy we will have.

3 Responses to “How to make soup or stews more nutritious. Good for getting high quality nutrition into the family at a low cost. How to make stock.”

  1. Sarah 2012-02-13

    Tried this recipe to use in a soup and it was simply delicious! Great to have a decent stock recipe when the weather gets this cold and all one craves is soup! I decided to be super economical and use bones left over from roast lamb, which worked well. It makes such devilishly mouth-watering smells as it simmers! Is it true that the stock is also a good source of calcium? If so then that seems another excellent reason to make it, especially for those that can’t eat dairy.

    • Clare Harding 2012-02-13

      So glad you were inspired to make soup from the left over sunday roast bones. You raise a couple of interesting points; is this stock a good source of calcium? Well, yes it is. It helps to add a little vinegar to the liquid to draw out the calcium – and also the magnesium and potassium in the bones. What is of interest is that the uptake of calcium is partly dependant upon magnesium and the best uptake of magnesium from dietary sources is from animal or fish sources. So yes, making a bone stock is a very good thing to do. Re dairy as a source of calcium; it is not completely agreed on that dairy is a good source of calcium anyway. Cheese especially is very acidic, and so the body leaches calcium out of our bones to help alkalise the body, so eating cheese to help our bones can be completely counterproductive. Making a good stock with a little vinegar is much better. What soup did you go on to make?

  2. Sarah 2012-02-13

    Ok great, thanks for the info! I’ll definitely try adding a little vinegar next time. I made a beetroot soup, which was very tasty (down to the stock I’m sure) but also such a vibrant colour!


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