I had no idea until I took a professional cooking class that there’s a difference between stock and broth. Straight from the ladle, here’s what The Professional Chef textbook says…
“The major distinction between broths and stocks is that broths can be served as is, whereas stocks are used in the production of other dishes.”
So throughout my whole cooking life I’d been making stocks and calling them broths. I know that in the grand scheme of things what happens between you and your stock pot is just between you and your stock pot, BUT I decided to walk myself through both to make sure I really understood the difference.
Because I’m a vegetarian making good veggie stock is a priority (and a challenge). I’ve found the more veg I stick in the pot, the better the flavor. I used to put in whatever I had in the fridge, but now I stick to non-starchy veg to help keep my stock clear(er). All chefs want clear stock. I think of it like a painter having perfect paints. I didn’t even know stock was supposed to be clear until I put on a chef’s jacket, so clear stock could be a low-totem pole concern in your kitchen, and that is totally fine. I hover somewhere between clear and slightly cloudy, but that’s just my style.
Vegetable Stock: 1 Gallon
(Making 1 gallon is a good way to go. You can freeze the stock and use it for other recipes)
*5 lbs of non-starchy vegetables– I use a combination of lettuce, mushroom, leek, white onion, carrot, celery. You can chop or put the vegetables in whole. I often do a mix, but if you do chop your veg, make sure to chop larger pieces (it’ll help with fishing them out later). And okay, I do put a parsnip in there. It breaks the non-starch rule, but that’s why my stock is always on the (er) side of clear.
*5 quarts of cold water – Cold water is key because you want your veg and water to start out at the same temperature.
*1 Standard Sachet d’Epices- A sachet d’epices is a small bundle of cheese cloth that contains, a sprig of thyme (1 teaspoon), 2-4 parsley stems (2 teaspoons), 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of cracked peppercorns, and 1 garlic clove (optional). You put all that in the cheese cloth and tie it off with cooking string, essentially making a teabag for your stock. You can always forgo the fancy and put the spices directly into the stock. Again if you want clear stock, you shouldn’t just toss in the spices, but you can join me in the (er) camp any time you like!
Vegetable Stock How-To:
*Place the water, spices and veg in a stock pot.
*Bring to a simmer.
*As the stock simmers, you’ll see bubbles gathering on the surface of the stock. It kind of looks like bubbles in a bubble bath or froth. Use a mesh strainer or spoon to skim the bubbles off (this again is for the sake of clearness).
*Simmer for an hour.
*Remove all vegetables. This usually involves a strainer. Save any veg that you might want to use in your soup. I almost always keep the carrots and the celery.
Here is me testing my clearness….It’s defineately on the side of (er).
Now it’s time for broth! I’m making a garlic broth. So this recipe should be tasty enough to eat just as it is. I won’t be using the whole gallon, so I’ll only put in what stock I need for the soup and freeze the rest.
2 quarts of Vegetable Broth
14 peeled, whole garlic cloves
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
1/4 teaspoon of sage
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons of parsley
1 cup of white wine (A sweet white wine is nice, but anything works!)
Garlic Broth How-To:
*Bring your stock to boil.
*Add all ingredients into the stock. Let everything boil for 30 minutes.
*When the 30 minutes are up, fish out the bay leaf and any garlic you’re not keen on eating. I usually leave 7 cloves. And that’s it– you’ve got Garlic Broth!
The final step-SOUP! I started making garlic noodle soup when I was looking for a substitute for chicken noodle soup. The great thing about this soup is you can pretty much add anything to it. Whatever ever will warm your bones will do the trick. I often make this soup in the late summer with fresh garden veg and freeze it for when flu season rolls around in December.
Garlic Noodle Soup:
2 quarts of garlic broth
2 cups of egg noodles
1 cup of giant lima beans (Canned or soaked is fine)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, chopped (Remember these can be the same carrots from making stock!)
2 celery ribs, chopped (Ditto.)
2 cups of water
2 eggs scrambled. (You can scramble your eggs while the soup is cooking).
Garlic Noodle Soup How-To:
*Bring the garlic broth to a boil. I usually add a cup or two of water at this point. This will help with evaporation and the noodles pesky habit of soaking up broth.
*Add egg noodles. Cook according to package.
*Reduce to a simmer. Add beans, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and celery. Simmer for 10 minutes.
*Scramble your eggs if you haven’t already.
*Add spinach and stir to help with wilting.
*Add eggs! These guys give you an extra boost of protein and add nice flavor.
*Turn off the heat and let the soup rest for another 10 minutes, the eat it up!
*Season to taste.