There are two types of fats: good and bad. This soup is full of the good kind. Assemble the following ingredients:
Pour hot stock into a heat proof bowl over your protein source. Float several tablespoons of butter on top, and cover with spinach leaves. Heat from the stock will melt the butter, and brighten the spinach leaves. I use cultured, unsalted butter, and sea salt to taste. If you do not know how to make homemade soup stock, add learning to your bucket list unless you're following a raw or vegan diet. For anyone who is curious, the recipe below is a place to start.
Save any vegetable scraps; carrot scrapings, onion skins, celery ends, etc..., if you steam vegetables, save the water from your reservoir. Save bones from anything you eat. Some people cook chicken right in the stock pot. Typically I roast it first. I rarely make beef stock, but if you can find fresh organic oxtails, these are worth their weight in culinary gold.
- Vegetable scraps
- Chicken carcass/fish bones/oxtails/assorted beef bones
- Saved water from steamed vegetables
- Fresh cold spring water to cover everything in your pot. Leave two fingers width of room below the rim of your pot for expansion.
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove, unpeeled, crushed with the flat of a knife
- Several peppercorns
- 1 T vinegar or cheap wine
Place all ingredients into your stock pot or large kettle. Leave your pot on the stove for half an hour before turning on your heat source. Turn it on high, and skim any scum or foam that floats on top. After your liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer. Although some cook stock for an hour or two, I leave it on the stove for a minimum of twelve hours so the bones release more nutrients. Strain your stock, and refrigerate. You may also reduce it if you are short on space. To reduce stock: keep cooking it until it coats the back of a spoon. If you have done this right, your kitchen will smell amazing, and you will increase your health, and save money by not having to purchase stock. This past Thanksgiving I was able to take home the rest of the turkey after my father-in-law's wife had cleaned the meat off. Stock is a protein sparer, meaning that you can get by with less meat if you have to. When your stock cools, it should be gelatinous, and viscous, with a protective layer of fat.
While some toss this fat, I use it to cook with. Butter soup may sound like an odd dish, many people I know are afraid of consuming natural saturated fats, yet willingly consume chemical concoctions that are packaged to appeal to the average consumer. Very few people I know make their own stock. It's gross, there's a certain look you get from people when you ask what their plans are for the remnants of their meal, but I am here to tell you that there is a vast difference between eating, and feeding yourself. Stock is an unpretty food, but it is hard to find an easier to make, more economical backbone for your soups, stews, chilis, risottos, rice, pasta, or ill person in your home. An old South African proverb states that: "Good broth resurrects the dead". Eat well here on earth, that you may cheat the Grim Reaper when he comes to collect your bones.