Making Soups and Salads

After a 2-week-break, my 6 faithful students returned for the “Soups + Salads” class. The first thing on our itinerary was to make a beautiful chicken stock. More than half the group had never done this before and were curious observers.  They were amazed by how easy and versatile it is and hopefully encouraged to try it out at home. After the stock was bubbling on the stove, they split into 3 groups of 2 again and every pair choose a recipe to prepare. On the menu were 3 different salads (Warm Lentil with Rocket and Goats Cheese, Pumpkin and Chickpeawith Sun Dried Tomato Dressing and Quinoa with Apples, Almonds, Fennel and Celery) and 2 soups (Curried Winter Squash and Chickpea, Zucchini, Tomato and Spelt). It was a busy morning, to say the least. However, by lunchtime we were finally able to reap in the rewards and oh my, it was a feast! Give it a try yourselves and let me know how it went…

Chicken Stock

I love to make stock. Anytime I have chicken bones left over, I chuck them in a pot, alongside any vegetables and fresh herbs in can dig out of my fridge. I use it mainly as a base for soups and risottos of all grains and colours. Even, if you have only a few small bones left, add a bay leaf, some parsley sprigs, an onion or spring onions, a clove of garlic, a stick of celery, a tomato, a carrot and you’re good to go. You don’t have all of the above? Substitute with some other herb or vegetable, it will still be better than what you get in a tetra pack at the store. Fill the pot with a litre (4-6 cups) of water, depending on the amount of veggies, and follow the instructions below.

Ingredients

  • Bones of 1 large chicken, cooked or raw
  • 1 leek
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion, not peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 sprigs of parsley, washed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 4 litres of water

Directions

1. wash leeks, carrots and celery and cut them into large chunks

2. wash onion and cut into wedges with skin on

3. cut tomato into wedges

4. smash garlic cloves

5. rinse chicken bones (if raw) and place into large soup pot

6. add vegetables, parsley, thyme, bay leafs, peppercorns and water

7. put lid on pot, bring stock to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 2 hours. I like to simmer mine for 4-5 hours.

8. Let stock cool I pot. Place fine meshed colander ever large bowl in sink. Pour stock into colander and squeeze ingredients as hard as you can. That way you will get all of the lovely juices in your stock.

9. Place bowl with stock in the fridge for at least 4 hours. This way the fat in the stock with solidify and float on the top. It’s easy to scoop it out with a slotted spoon or small mesh strainer.

10. Stir stock before filling into containers for freezing.

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