A popular cooking lesson I teach is a soup and stew class, which allows people to produce a large amount of food at one time. With that in mind, I recently made a huge pot of chicken soup, enough for six meal-size portions.
Making the soup took little time and was cheaper, healthier and tastier than anything bought in a store.
The process was simple. I placed a chicken carcass I bought at the farmers’ market (many supermarkets and butchers also sell chicken bones and parts for soup for $1 to $2 per pound) in a large soup pot. I then added two carrots, one parsnip, one turnip (all cut into 1-inch chunks), an onion cut in half, two cloves of garlic, a roughly-chopped hot red pepper, some parsley stems, a bay leaf and some peppercorns.
Finally, I added enough cold water to cover the chicken and vegetables. After I brought the mixture to a boil, I lowered the heat and allowed the soup to simmer (uncovered) for about 75 minutes. After letting the soup cool, I refrigerated it overnight. This helped the fat congeal, making it easier to remove later.
Each time we ate the soup, I made sure to season to taste with unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper. As I’ve written before, if I had salted after adding the water, I probably would have ended up with a salty soup, since some water—but no salt—evaporated during the cooking process.