How to Make Your Own Bone Soup

miso soup

Making your own broth is a really easy and inexpensive way to nurture yourself during the coming months of cold and darkness. You can make any type of soup or cook any type of bean in this homemade stock to lend the dish extra nutrition. It can be used in almost any dish that calls for liquid. Bone soup is great for your bones and connective tissue (ligaments & tendons love it!).

As you might have guessed from the subtitle, you will need some bones! This recipe works great with any type of bones. I like to separate mine into chicken and other, with other being beef, lamb, and pork bones. You can add any veggie scraps that you accumulate as well, provided they don’t have a really strong flavor which will take over your stock. Make sure to save and add your onion skins–they are the most immune-boosting part of the onion. You can also save up just your veggies and use this recipe to make vegetarian stock which, although tasty, will not have the same tissue-nurturing effect of the bone stock.

soup potThe size of your biggest soup pot will affect the amount you can make; you need enough bones to loosely fill the pot with several inches left at the top. I use an 8 quart soup pot and save up my bones in the freezer until I have about 2 gallon-sized Ziploc baggies’ worth (which is about 3 chicken carcasses–you may find 2 to be plenty). You can also ask your butcher for bones for soup stock. Fill the pot with water, leaving about an inch at the top. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar (this helps leach the minerals out of the bones). Use less vinegar if you’re making a smaller batch. Cover the pot, bring the liquid to a boil, and then cook at a low boil, covered, for about 6-10 hours. I like to do mine in the evening and leave it overnight. Strain out your bones and enjoy! If there was a bit of meat left clinging to the bones, you might want to chill the stock and skim off the fat before using it. This method will make for a very gelatinous texture when chilled so don’t mistake it all for fat, which will float at the top. I usually make a large batch and package it into small containers and freeze it for future use (I like empty large yogurt containers best. They hold about 3 cups of stock). There’s nothing better than homemade stock when you don’t feel well, conveniently stored in your freezer.

crock potGot a crock pot? You can slow-cook your stock instead. For a 5 quart crock pot, use about 1 gallon-sized Ziploc baggie’s worth of bones (about 2 chickens). Set to high and cook for several hours at a boil (bearing in mind that it will take a while to come up to a boil if the bones are frozen), then set to low and let cook overnight or throughout the day. Strain and store as above.

Now that you’ve got this fabulous broth, you can use it to cook any type of bean, grain, or soup to make it even more nourishing. Some of my favorites are listed below:

  • Lentils in beef stock
  • Chicken soup
  • White bean soup in chicken stock
  • Quinoa
  • Congee (Asian rice soup)
  • Black beans
  • Miso soup

To tasty good health!