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 or grain 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 and a nourishing liquid, especially when you’re feeling run down and needing more fluids, like after childbirth or during or after a cold.

As you might have guessed from the subtitle, you will need some bones! This recipe works great with any type of bones. You can separate by type or mix them together, though the flavor will shift. 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. This post will walk you through making stock in a regular pot, a slow cooker, and an instant pot/other multi-function cooker.

To Make Bone Broth in a Pot:

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 and vegetable scraps in the freezer until I have loosely 2 gallon-sized Ziploc baggies’ worth (about 2 chicken carcasses). You can also ask your butcher for bones for soup stock. Fill the pot with water, leaving about an inch or two 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. Strain out your bones and enjoy! If there appears to be a lot of fat, 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 or those tall, clear plastic, similarly-shaped to-go containers the best. They hold about 3+ cups of stock. I chill my stock before pouring it into plastic containers.). There’s nothing better than homemade stock when you don’t feel well, conveniently stored in your freezer.

To Make Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker:

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 1-1.5 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.

To Make Bone Broth in a Multi-Function Cooker/Instant Pot:

This is by far the least high maintenance method–simply add your bones, fill with water to the highest fill line (this should be marked inside the inner pot), add your vinegar, and set to Slow Cook on low for as long as your cooker will you. It will automatically convert to keeping your stock warm when the time runs out, so set it up and walk away. Strain, skim fat if necessary, chill, and store. I have an 8 quart cooker, which fits about 2 chicken carcasses.

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:

Any of the above can be served with a delicious loaf of Homemade Sourdough Bread.

To tasty good health!