Grandma Lilo's Soup Stock

I’ve had this packet of soup bones in my freezer for a long time….months, perhaps even almost a year. I only recently discovered that they were there this summer, and thought it would be best to wait until Dane arrived home to use them. I mean what is one girl going to do with 2 lbs of soup bones in the heat of summer? Throw a roasted bone marrow party? I don’t think so. I’d rather wait to turn them into an aromatic fall soup stock.

So that is what I did today using a true and tried, generation old recipe. A recipe that my dear grandmother Lilo passed down to me, and perhaps her grandmother to her, and so forth. It works for everyone. Whether you prefer vegetable, chicken, red meat, fish, or bone marrow stock, it’s great and fool proof. You just cannot let it simmer or boil. Period.

Benefits of Kraftbrühe aka Bone Broth

In Germany, a hearty bone marrow stock is called Kraftbrühe, translated meaning strength broth. And that is what a good stock should be. Naturally full of vitamins and minerals that have leached from the vegetables and bone, into the water, leaving behind only fiber and the bone matrix, which can be discarded or given to one happy dog. That is why broth is often given to those that cannot stomach anything else, due to sickness, disease, or weakness. It is strengthening, immune boosting, and energy giving without adding much else. Bone broth is rich in glycine and proline from the collagen and gelatin found in cartilage, as well as the minerals calcium, phosphorous, and to a lesser degree magnesium sodium, potassium, sulfate and fluoride, which make up the bone matrix. In addition there is the nutrient dense bone marrow, which is made up of red and yellow marrow. Red marrow is composed of stem cells, which support both the production of red and white blood cells, while yellow bone marrow is full of energy dense fat cells called adipocytes. All in all, bone offers many of your essential minerals, immune and blood support, as well as energy producing fat. In many cultures bone broth is used not only as food but also as medicine. This delicious cultural staple has been documented to support many conditions ranging from allergies and anemia to inflammatory conditions and wound healing. 

So, if you are feeling a little under the weather, or just simply craving a warm hearty soup, start your weekend with a big pot of slowly simmering soup stock. Everyone will smell his or her way into your kitchen! It smells so good!

How-to: Roast Soup Bones

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place thawed or fresh soup bones on a baking pan and roast in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside. Pour off any excess fat.

Note: If you like roasted bone marrow, you can also serve up a roasted soup bone as an appetizer with toasted baguette, salt and pepper. Spoon out the marrow and spread it like butter on the bread. It’s a simple gourmet treat!

How-to: Make a Basic Stock

You will need:
            One onion, halved with skin on (red or yellow)
            2 whole cloves
            1 bay leaf
4 peppercorns
Two large carrots, halved
            ½ celeriac root or 5 stalks celery, halved
            1 leek, rinsed of dirt and halved
            4 cloves garlic
            1 bunch parsley
            Fresh filtered water to cover
            2 lbs roasted soup bones
            1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Heat a large soup stockpot over medium heat. Place the exposed section of the onion face down onto the bottom of the pan. Sear it slightly, but do not burn it. Reduce the heat. Pierce the bay leaf to the onion with both cloves.

Place pierced onion, peppercorns, carrots, celeriac, leek, garlic cloves, and parsley into the pot and cover with water.  Once the water is almost at a simmer, add the soup bones and the vinegar. Reduce heat to low. The trick is to keep the stock below a constant simmer. You want it to be at the point right before it simmers. This increases the clarity of the broth as well as the flavor. Pour about a cup of the stock back into the roasting pan and scrap off some of the excess proteins that are stuck on the pan and pour the liquid back into the pot.  Allow the broth to develop in flavor for minimum 1 hour or better all day! The longer it cooks the more flavorful and nutrient dense it becomes. Usually, I let mine sit for 24+ hours. Skim off any foam that accumulates on top.

When the broth is ready, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and cool immediately to keep it from souring. This stock can be thinned with water as desired. 

Now you have a flavorful and aromatic homemade stock! It should keep in the refrigerator about 5 days, or in the freezer for months. If you are a vegetarian, just omit the bones. If you prefer chicken or fish, replace them with the bones. If they are raw however, you must make sure to fully cook them in the stock prior to serving.

So here is what I like to do with my homemade stock. This recipe is versatile, easy, delicious, and most conveniently it doesn’t take long to make!

Quick and Easy Fried Egg Soup
Makes 1 serving
1 cup bone marrow stock
½ cup filtered water
2-3 chanterelles, pulled (or any mushroom of choice)
2 collard leaves, chiffonade (can substitute with kale, chard, or spinach)
¼ yellow bell pepper, diced
½ cup cooked whole grain
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pasture-raised egg
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Favorite toppings:
Shaved asiago, feta, or goat cheese
Fresh cut parsley or basil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Siracha or fresh salsa

Pour the bone marrow stock and filtered water into a saucepan and heat on medium low. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan on medium and toss in pulled chanterelles. Do not add oil, because this is a dry heat method of cooking the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are tender place them into your soup bowl. Quickly heat up olive oil in the same pan, and slightly sauté the bell pepper and collard greens. Season with salt and pepper. Toss them into you bowl along with millet.

Fry an egg in olive oil. Pour the broth into your soup bowl, top with fried egg, cheese, hot sauce, parsley, fresh lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper. Voila! Your done! Enjoy!

Note: Once served, cut up the sunny side up egg, and mix in with the soup…it makes the soup creamier!

Siebecker, A. Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease. Townsend Letter. March 2005.

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