Sep 05 2008

Making Stock

A friend of mine who has recently had to take on all the cooking for the first time looked at me in a puzzled way the other day and said “When you’re making soup where does the liquid come from?” If you’ve never cooked before it’s a very good question! I laughed and explained about making stock, ‘take the meat off the cooked chicken, put the carcass in a pot. Fill the pot with water, add a bay leaf, some herbs, a carrot, an onion and put the whole thing in the bottom of your kitchen range and go to bed’! “Goodness” he said and looked delighted. Just then someone else spoke to me and our conversation on soup finished. But I overheard him trying to find out more from a photographer friend. “Where do you get the liquid from?” he asked again ” A stock cube, of course!”. I laughed to myself. It was like me taking my happy snaps to Boots to have them processed when I know my friend works for hours printing to perfection in her dark room. So horses for courses, make your stock or use a cube!  The basis of soup is the same. Sweat vegetables slowly in a covered pan over a gentle heat in a little butter and oil until they are soft. If you want a thick soup add a potato or some rice and stir in a little flour. Omit these if you want a clear soup with bits! When the vegetables are just tender stir in the stock, simmer season and serve.

Nettle and Spinach Soup: take a large bag of young nettles, some spinach leaves and a little sorrel. Remember sorrel has a very strong lemon flavour. Chop an onion, a medium potato and a carrot and a clove of garlic crushed with salt. Sweat gently in a knob of butter with a dash of oil ( the oil will stop the butter burning ) until soft and transparent. Add well washed nettles, spinach and sorrel , wilt with the vegetables in the oil and butter. Now stir in the chicken stock you made from a carcass or a stock cube. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5-8 minutes. Season and puree in the liquidiser or push through a mouli. Return to the pan, reheat, gently, do not allow to boil.  Stir in a little cream or crème fraiche. Check the seasoning again and serve sprinkled with chopped herbs.

One response so far

One Response to “Making Stock”

  1. gilon 13 May 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Nice to stumble across your site while searching for middle neck chop recipes. Have got to try the lamb leg with quince. Isn’t Dorothy Hartley’s book good ? I cook with similar ingredients (home-grown or foraged). Will post this, and see what coulemelles are (since I eat quite a lot of rabbit).
    Thanks for the site !

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply