I arrived home at lunch time on Saturday to hear my 7 year old telling his father that his chicken soup “just isn’t the same as mums!” He then proceeded to declare that “Mum makes the best chicken noodle soup ever.” Such compliments don’t happen every day in my household, especially in regards to meals that I really want the kids to eat.
What has changed recently is that I’ve finally started making my own chicken stock. My three year old keeps getting sick and ends up awake half the night. I wanted to do something that would give us all a healthy boost to get us through the winter. Stock is packed full of nutrients, is easy for young children to eat and is a very soothing dish on a cold day.
Funnily enough the stock that was the basis of the “best chicken noodle soup ever” was made by my mother while babysitting for us. I had been planning to make stock using Jude Blereau’s recipe but just hadn’t quite got around to it… it just wasn’t part of my kitchen repertoire. I had the impression that stock takes a long time to cook, and yes it does, but it doesn’t require much attention at all. In fact wintery days at home are the perfect time for simmering up some delicious and nourishing homemade stock.
My Mum’s Stocks and Soups basics
Anyway, Mum tends to just cook using whatever is around – so here is what she put into the stock.
- Chicken carcasses – I can fit 3 in my large pot.(I bought organic frozen raw carcasses but you can use the frame left over from a chicken roast dinner instead)
- Some chicken meat if you have some (this makes a richer stock for great chicken noodle soup).
- A few onions and carrots (lots of people use celery but recently I’ve added some peeled and chopped celeriac as a seasonal substitute for celery).
- Herbs – fresh are great if you have them but dried do as well.
- A couple of bay leaves and some black peppercorns.
- A couple of teaspoons of lemon