Soup is not only a staple in most homes; it is also a comfort food on cool or cold days. This is a basic broth recipe that you can add ingredients to, depending on your taste, to make a variety of soups. The broth is even delicious as a hot drink, to warm your insides. It freezes well, so you can make a large batch so you have some on hand at any time. A trip to your local grocer will yield all the fresh ingredients needed, to make this tasty soup.
Ingredients for Broth – Makes 32 x 1 cup servings (large quantity is intended to allow for freezing some)
- 32 cup (8 litres) of Water
- 1 whole Chicken – approx. 4 lbs.
- 3 large Sweet onions or Spanish type onions, peeled and end core removed. Leave whole or cut in half, do not chop.
- 4 pieces of Ginger (1 ½” long), smashed or 4 teaspoons of squeezable tube Ginger paste.
- 24 whole Star Anise
- 32 whole Cloves
- 8 Tablespoons whole Coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt or regular iodized salt – to taste
- 8 Tablespoons Sugar
- 8 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
Additional ingredient suggestions– to be added to the soup bowls, at serving time.
- Rice noodles, cooked separately
- Fresh Basil, MInt or Cilantro leaves
- Green onions, white and green parts, sliced
- Bean sprouts
- Slivered onion pieces
- Slivered carrot pieces
- Lime wedges, to squeeze into soup
- Hot red chili peppers (if you dare)
- Condiments: Hoisin Sauce, Thai hot garlic sauce or Sriracha sauce
- Any other ingredient your creativity can think up.
- In a large stock pot, put the water to boil. See note under #2 concerning substitutions.
- Rinse off the whole chicken and remove the bag of giblets from the cavity (if included). NOTE: If substituting skinless, boneless chicken pieces, in place of the whole chicken, you should use chicken stock (or half water and half chicken stock) instead of water, to get a flavourful stock.
- Place the whole chicken in the boiling water, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, covered.
- In a dry frying pan/skillet place the Star Anise, Cloves and Coriander seeds. It is important that the frying pan have nothing else in it, must be completely dry.
- Using medium heat and stirring constantly, heat the star anise, cloves and coriander seeds just until the wonderful fragrance is detected. Do not overheat or they will burn.
- Put the frying pan dry ingredients into the stock pot with the chicken.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients to the stock pot. NOTE: If altering measurements of ingredients, note that the amount of Sugar and Fish Sauce, must both be the same amount.
- Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Using a colander of sieve, drain or scoop out all the onion, spices and ginger.
- Keep the soup stock warm on the stove.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions.
- Thinly slice, cube or shred the chicken.
- Prepare and chop any other ingredients to add to the soup bowls.
- To serve, place noodles and chicken slices in the soup bowl and cover with broth.
- Top soup with additional ingredients. It is nice to place the additional ingredients in small bowls on the table, so that people can add the ones they like. Chop sticks and Chinese soup spoons can be used to give the soup an air of authenticity.
Freezing the rest of the broth
- Let the broth in the stock pot cool slightly. The idea is to have the temperature still hot, but not so hot that you will burn your hands while holding the containers, during the filling process.
- Use plastic lidded containers to hold the broth. The screw-on-lid type works well in the freezer as there is little chance of broth spillage.
- Fill the containers, leaving a small gap at the top (1/2” is plenty), to allow for freeze expansion. TIP: Ladle a single serving size portion in each container. This means that you can pull out 1 or, several servings from the freezer. This is the “thaw only what you need” principle.
- Place the containers in the freezer, making sure that they are level. Cookie trays can be used to keep them level until they are frozen. Stacking containers will make more efficient use of the space available in the freezer.
Defrosting the frozen broth
- Unscrew the lid a ¼ to a ½ turn. Place in microwave to defrost. NOTE: If the lids are frozen in place, put them in the microwave for 5 seconds and then you should be able to unscrew the lid.
- Defrost only until the broth is almost fully thawed.
- Transfer to a saucepan on the stove, to continue to warm the broth.
Gluten Free Options
If using purchased chicken stock in your broth, read the labels to make sure it is gluten free.
Check the labels of the condiments. GF Hoisin and Thai Garlic hot sauces are available.
Make sure the noodles you use are Gluten free. Rice noodles are generally okay. Again, read the labels to be sure.
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Thank-you for reading and sharing this article with others. Enjoy!