One of my favorite things to do when making some of my soups in the wintertime is to use homemade chicken broth. I have found that this gives my soups a good foundation for a rich full flavor. Once you taste soup that is made this way, you will never want to go back to using chicken bouillon or commercially canned chicken broth again.
I have learned some simple techniques that I would like to share, especially with our daughter, who is newly married.
Homemade Chicken Broth
As you will see by the picture, the ingredients are quite simple.
In a stock pot put the following ingredients:
- 6 ½ cups of water
- 1 chicken breast with bones and skin attached
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in quarters
- 1 celery stalk, cut in half
- 1 clove of garlic, cut in half
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
If you have them on hand, you can also add a bouquet of parsley and thyme sprigs.
Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a full rolling boil, then quickly turn the heat down to low to a simmer (it will look like a very gentle boil). Skim off the foam that has risen to the top. If you let the broth boil too long, it can cause it to become cloudy and look murky.
Cover the pot. Simmer the broth for one to two hours. Strain the broth when it is finished cooking. Shred the meat and refrigerate or freeze for use at a later time.
I like to store my broth in wide mouth quart or pint size canning jars. Let the broth cool before refrigerating or freezing. The broth will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
Now here is my favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe using the above homemade chicken broth:
In a stock pot add the following ingredients and sauté on medium heat until tender:
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
Add to the stock pot:
- 6 to 6 ½ cups chicken stock
- 3 cups of black beans or 2 – 15 oz. cans, rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 24 oz. bottle of salsa
- shredded chicken (from the above cooked chicken breast)
- 1 ½ to 2 T. chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 ½ to 2 T. cumin
- salt to taste
Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, sliced avocados, black olives, cilantro, and sour cream.
Makes 3 plus quarts of delicious soup!
I like to freeze any leftovers in my favorite storage containers—wide mouth Quart or Pint Jars! Be sure to let the soup cool before refrigerating or freezing, and if freezing, remember to leave 1 to 2 inches for expansion at the top of the jar.