Healthy Stocks, Broths, and Soups

Soup is a very nourishing, satisfying, and delicious addition to any healthy diet. Homemade soup is abundant in vitamins and nutrients, and it delivers them in an easily digestible and usable form. Stocks, broths, and soups have long been valued for their restorative power; in fact, our word for restaurant comes from 18th century Parisian establishments that served nutrient rich soups to restore — restaurer — the health and vitality of their patrons.

Stock is an important base for homemade soup. Stock is cooked long and slow to extract every bit of flavor and nutrition. It makes use of scraps and leftovers, and can be frozen for later use. You can even boil down the stock to make what is known as a fumet or demi-glace in order to save on storage space. Just add water and you have stock.

Stock or broth is also a very healthy alternative to fat for sauteeing. Meat stocks are rich with gelatin from hydrolyzed collagen. Gelatin, like fat, add an unctuous texture and rich, smooth body to foods, but is much healthier.

What is the difference between a stock and a broth? Often, the terms are used interchangeably, but technically a stock is made with bones and a broth just from meat. Of course, this doesn't apply to vegetable stock.

In South America they have a saying: Good broth resurrects the dead. That would have to be some mighty good broth! Stocks and broths and soups can certainly support and restore good health and vitality.


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