Think, Read, Cook

Because no single way of eating works for everybody.

Eat Food, Not Products: Soup Stock


I often have bought broth, or soup stock, in 1-litre tetra packs from the grocery store. They cost $3.00 or $4.00 each, and they have Stuff in them. Stuff like yeast and colouring and tons of salt. Stuff that isn’t soup stock, in addition to the stuff that is. Sometimes I’ve even bought Simulated Soup Stock Powder, which is definitely not food; it’s the product of a chemical factory, like the one downtown that I sometimes travel past… the chemical factory that smells like chicken soup.

This past weekend I bought a bag of beef bones and a bag of chicken bones from my butcher. Each bag cost me $1.50. I simmered them in water, with the addition of some vegetables and spices, for several hours. Now I have 5 litres of soup stock, which cost $3.00 for all five, plus the cost of the electricity to run the stove. I have saved between $15.00 and $20.00, and I have had complete control over what kind of soup-stock stuff I’m eating.

Oh, and it tastes better than the broth from the store. And a lot better than the Simulated Soup Stock Powder from the Frankenchicken Chemical Company.

I’m going to be doing this a lot from now on!  🙂


Cheap and Easy Soup Stock (Chicken or Beef)


Several pounds of beef bones or chicken bones

Water to cover

An onion or two, roughly chopped

A couple of carrots, roughly chopped

A couple of celery stalks, roughly chopped

A few cloves of garlic, if you want

A tomato, roughly chopped, or some tomato paste, for beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Herbs to taste: thyme or basil works well for beef, tarragon or rosemary can be nice with chicken… experiment



1.  If you’re making beef, roast the beef bones first, at 375°F, for about an hour. You don’t have to do this with chicken bones, but it’s fine also to use the carcass of a roasted chicken.

2.  Put bones in a large pot and cover with water.

3.  Add remaining ingredients.

4.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for at least four hours.

5.  If there’s any meat on the bones, rescue it after the first hour or two, for use in other dishes.

6.  When stock tastes the way you want it to, let it cool.

7.  Strain out the solids and discard them; there’s no flavour or nutrition left in them. Store and freeze soup stock in containers for later use.





4 comments on “Eat Food, Not Products: Soup Stock

  1. MyMagicPill
    April 8, 2013

    Homemade broth is so worth the effort!

    • thinkreadcook
      April 8, 2013

      Oh, yeah! And it’s not even too much effort, in terms of accurate measurement and suchlike things. “A bit of a nuisance” as opposed to “a big production”.

  2. judy
    April 8, 2013

    I’m really going to drive you potty. When you say a couple of this and a couple of that do you mean 2 or more? Beef bones aren’t cheap here and i must admit to making a delicious chicken soup for the passover using chicken powder for extra taste. It was highly complimented. Am i now to bend my head in shame!

    • thinkreadcook
      April 8, 2013

      Don’t you dare bend your head in shame! 🙂 And “a couple” does indeed mean “two or so”. And you can’t drive me crazy… ’cause I’m already there! 🙂

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