Stock for Soup

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
1 parsnip
3-4 leeks
2 celery stalks
1 onion
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.   ~


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