Summer is the perfect time to make and can your own soup stocks and if you have never used a pressure canner before there is just nothing easier to start on.
We do a lot of scratch cooking so we use a lot of stock, whether it be vegetable, chicken, turkey or beef. Making stock could not be easier and it is not time intensive.
The other great thing about making stock is that although you will want to have a few things that standard what you put in your stock is flexible making it an easy way to use up leftovers or veggies that you want to use up before they go bad.
Every soup stock is going to have a few basics in it.
- Herbs such as Rosemary, parsley, thyme and basil
How much of these you will need depends on how many quarts of Stock you plan to make and what else you are putting in your stock.
My preference is to make an all around vegetable stock that can be used with anything and which does not require having meat on hand to make.
You Will Need:
To make 4 quarts of vegetable stock:
- 1lb Carrots
- 6 stalks of celery
- 3 onions
- 3cloves of garlic
- Several sprigs of herbs
- 7 quarts of water
In addition to these you can add tomato,root vegetables such as turnips or rutabagas and peppers to your stock. I have added potatoes, green cabbage,green onions and whatever else I happened to have to my stock.
Adding Meat to your Stock
If you want to add meat to your stock it can still be very inexpensive if you plan ahead. I usually take chicken carcasses with some meat attached, turkey carcasses or beef bones and store them in the freezer till I have an adequate amount to make a flavorful meat stock. I still add all of the above vegetables but not quite as much as I would for a vegetable stock and add 4lbs of bones or other meat parts to the water.
Cooking Your Soup Stock
This is where it gets really easy, throw all your ingredients in a pot, and salt and a few peppercorns add your water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours and strain thru several layers of cheese cloth.
That is it…. once it is done all that is left is to store it.
Storing Your Soup Stock
You have a couple of choices here. You can freeze your soup stock if you have plenty of freezer space, or if like me you are short of freezer space you might wish to can your soup stock.
If you are freezing your soup stock the process is very simple. Just put it in glass jars with lids and freeze. Be sure to leave some head space so that when the liquid expands as it freezes it does not overflow the jar. The other way to freeze your soup stock that provides a lot of flexibility is to freeze it in ice cube trays then put the ice cubes in a Ziploc baggie. Each ice cube will be between 2-3 tablespoons.
Canning your Soup Stock
Once you have strained your soup stock with cheese cloth you simply ladle your stock into hot jars leaving a 1 inch head space. Process at 10 lbs pressure for 35 minutes and you are done. You now have freshly made soup stock make from left over scraps.
Pic by: boboroshi