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Bone Broth

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LOVEly soup: Bone Broth

By Diana Earnshaw

Can there be anything more heart-warming than a bowl of homemade soup?  We all use the odd tin of soup for speed and convenience and they are much more sophisticated than 50 years ago. If they are organic, you will also be receiving some decent, uncontaminated nutrition. However – nothing beats the soup you make for your family or partner, with love and care. Make a robust soup such as mulligatawny or oxtail for everyday super-nutrition or a more sophisticated French onion or cream of chicken as a starter to a Valentine’s menu.

Perhaps the most important ingredient for any soup is the stock you use. Please have a go at making your own, but a good bought one will be fine if you are short of time. Try our recipes for bone broth and vegetable broth. Vary them to the ingredients that you have to hand. The great thing about this is that you can make lots in a stock pot and then freeze or refrigerate the remainder for another day. 

Making soup is just so simple. I usually start with softening a chopped onion. Then the choice is yours! One great reason to make soup is that you can just use what you have – as long as it starts with proper stock/broth.

To the onion and with 1 litre stock, add:

  1. Lentils, garlic, carrots, celery and a tin of tomatoes (lentil soup – puree)
  2. 2 chopped large parsnips, thyme and a tin of tomatoes (parsnip soup – puree)
  3. Mixed chopped vegetables, 1 tablespoon curry powder and ½ can coconut milk (mulligatawny)
  4. Mixed chopped vegetables, garlic, rice or broken pasta, 1 tin tomatoes, meat if wanted (minestrone)
  5. Diced celeriac (pureed and a dash of cream to serve)
  6. 2 more chopped onions, browned a little in 1 tablespoon fat. Add crumbled blue cheese to serve.

Could it be any better? Inexpensive, delicious, full of fabulous nutrients and your family will love you for it!


  • Bones – chicken carcasses, or from other roasts or frozen from True Food!
  • Water to cover the ingredients
  • Himalayan or Celtic salt to taste
  • 6 Peppercorns
  • Clean vegetable trimmings – celery leaves, onion skins, carrot tops, etc.
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon duck/goose fat or other animal fat


In a hot oven, roast raw bones for an hour with the fat. This will add colour and flavour to the finished stock but it is not essential. 

Put the bones in a stockpot with all the other ingredients except the salt. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down. Put the lid on and simmer very gently for at least eight hours but as long as is possible. (Or simmer overnight in a slow-cooker.) Strain the stock. The salt can now be added. (If you are making a pureed soup, dig the marrow from the bones and add this too.)

All bones can be used for stock making so don’t throw away the bones from Sunday’s roast. Chicken and other poultry carcasses can replace meat bones – just put them in a bag and give them a good bash with a rolling pin to save space. Make sure to use everything including sinews and skin. 

Whilst this is time-consuming, the nutritional benefits are enormous  – lots of minerals, especially calcium (good for many things – including the correct contraction of the heart!) are made available in this way. It can be a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin, often taken in supplement form by those with bone/joint problems. There will also be an easily assimilated form of protein making soup made from bone stock an ideal food for those with poor appetites, suffering illnesses or convalescing. You won’t get all this from a regular stock cube!

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