Don't get me wrong; I positively adore steak delivery systems; most of the time, I am one. But broth should be hearty more-or-less on its own - you don't need to put an entire chicken in it to make it taste like something.
Part of it is an expectations game - pre-made soup companies nowadays focus on the stuff floating in the broth instead of the broth itself. This is fine, I guess, but it's gotten to the point where the broth in a can of hearty soup isn't anything more than salt water with beef concentrate in it. It's a shame, and it's a bit of a nomenclature problem - maybe it's just me, but soup that's more ingredients than stock isn't soup; it's stew.
Broth matters. And I, for one, think it's about time that some attention was paid to it.
...is about as much attention as broth can possibly get while still being graced with some bulk. The potatoes work in conjunction with the gelatin from the bones as a thickener without having to use flour (which can get messy) and the mushrooms mostly act as a broth concentrator.
A nice side effect of this recipe is, like most soups, it's made up of things you probably would have thrown away if you weren't thinking ahead. Remember when I said it's smart to buy whole chicken wings for frying and save the tips? This is where the tips go. I can feed 3-4 people with this recipe and all it will cost me is a handful of vegetables, some scraps from the freezer and some spices.
- 2-4 pork chop bones, depending on size
- 12 chicken wing tips
- 2 whole cloves garlic
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 celery stalks, roughly cut up
- Enough water to fill a medium pot
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- 2 potatoes, cubed
- 6-8 mushrooms, roughly chopped
- green onion as garnish
Combine the stock ingredients in a big pot. Bring to a boil before reducing the heat to provide an energetic simmer. Simmer covered for an hour or so, then remove the lid and continue simmering.
When the liquid volume has halved itself (30 minutes to an hour, depending), top it off with water. When it's halved itself again, run the liquid through a strainer, discard the solid ingredients and put the stock in the fridge overnight.
Come the next day, you'll find that the stock's fat has risen to the top of the pot and solidified. Skim it off with a ladle.
An hour or so before serving, add the potatoes and mushrooms to the pot and return to a simmer. Heat until the potatoes are soft, ladle into bowls, garnish with green onion and serve with buttered bread.
- Don't let the stock boil for too long before letting it simmer - boiling the bones too roughly will lead to a bitter stock. Be gentle with it and your stock will remain hearty and mildly sweet.
- We (at least, I) have become used to salty soups, but the purpose of this one is to showcase the broth; go easy on the salt and let the stock speak for itself for a change.
- I haven't tried it yet, but I think this soup would be amazing with tofu substituted for half or all of the potatoes.