Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soup Stock

Hardly anything is more satisfying (or better smelling) than a big pot of something simmering on your stove. Sauce, stock, soup, stew…

That reminds me.

I saw a commercial this week that really got my goat. It promoted Lean Cuisine's latest brainchild, Market Creations. Have you seen it? It starts of with the sound of a knife chopping against a cutting board and goes on to dismiss the idea of using cooking to de-stress after a long day.


There is nothing more relaxing for me than cooking. OK, honestly? A massage would probably beat chopping in an arm wrestle… But come on!! Can advertisers dumb up the American public any more?

I think the eras of convenience (enter the 50's and 60's) ruined most American home cooks. Ads shouted at our moms and grandmas, "Hey, you! Yeah, you lady! Don't get stuck in the kitchen a minute longer than you have to! Leave it up to the professionals." Yeah, the guys in lab coats who crafted condensed soups, tv dinners and who now genetically engineer our food. Those professionals.

We all know we are smarter and more capable than any commercial portrays, but we are consistently inundated with messaging that claim otherwise.

Cooking CAN be a stress-reliever and cathartic. Cooking puts you in touch with the ingredients that enter your body. It allows you to care for yourself, and offer nutrition to those you love. And it results in deliciousness! Yes, it can take longer than "a few minutes" (the time-frame Lean Cuisine claims your dinner will be ready), but it probably won't take longer than 30-40 mins.

I made stock for the second time this weekend. It brought me full circle. Creating stock empowers you. It shows you that you can take a raw product and create several delicious, healthy meals with your two hands with no pre-conceived spice packets or powders.

We are all busy, and we all deserve time-savers. But our society has robbed us from one simple truth: We can cook healthy, flavorful meals at home, and they do not take hours to prepare (after the two hours on Saturday afternoon when you simmered your stock, of course :).

It's easy and worth the time. Dare I say, it feeds your soul.

Do you agree? Disagree? I'd really like to know what M&M readers think (use the comment section to post your thoughts).

Well, here's Tracey's recipe if you have (or plan to have) a turkey or chicken carcass hanging around.

Miss out on the turkey remains? Roast a chicken! ;)



1 chicken or turkey carcass (don't ya love that word?)
Any veggies you might have roasted with the bird (and reserved)
And/ or some fresh veggies, like: halved onions, celery stalks, carrots, smashed garlic
Herbs. I used dried rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Bay leaves
Peppercorns -0r just some ground black pepper
Healthy sprinkling of salt

Cover everything with water
Bring to a boil
Lower to a simmer and cover
Pour a glass of wine
Put your feet up

After 1 or 2 hours (whenever you feel the broth has a rich color and flavor) turn of heat and let cool

Strain then pour into multiple containers and refrigerate or freeze.

P.S. Since I'm currently obsessed with chipotles in adobo, I added one when I made turkey soup (pictured above) using this soup recipe today. I just used shredded turkey meat instead of meatballs and the homemade stock. The chipotle added the appropriate kick in the pants. Highly recommend it.

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