It’s almost too easy. There’s no excuse.
After a good old fashioned Sunday roast, the left over carcass can be turned into the base of a great soup for a quick dinner mid-week.
The ingredients of a stock can vary, the classic Larousse would have you add the following ‘aromatics’:
3 – 4 big carrots
2 – 3 turnips
2 celery stalks
a couple of cloves, sprig of thyme, 1/4 of a bay leaf and a clove of garlic.
(along with a host of bones and meats for a 5 litre stock)
It’s a damn good place to start and the ratios of veg are there to play about with according to your own taste and discretion. I would say fit as much or as little of the above list that you like in to a large cooking pot that will fit happily along side the left over carcass of last night’s roast dinner, and cover with water.
The last stock I made was with the remains of a duck roast. I think duck stock offers a deeper, sweeter flavour to soups and they are more likely sold in supermarkets with giblets which are great to add to the stock as well. I love my stocks sweet and peppery, and so favour the amount of carrots and celery above other aromatics, adding whole peppercorns later on during the simmer.
After a few hours of a gentle simmering and when the kitchen smells amazing, the stock is strained. But I do like to keep the carrots in the liquid depending on what soup I am making.
For Leek and Potato Soup:
4 medium potatoes, diced and boiled to a mashable state
4 leeks, chopped finely and softened in a pan with a bit of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the stock to the potatoes and leeks in a large pot, and either mash everything together or blend (depending on how smooth you like your soups).
N.B don’t blend hot stock in a blender – it doesn’t end well.
Heat to a serviceable temperature, season to taste and make sure there’s some fresh bread ready on the side. ~