This is the post in which I declare my love of soups. I’m sure I’ve made this declaration before but I feel compelled to restate it especially since I’ve been diving deeper into the world of homemade soup and stock.
This Christmas for the second year in a row I made my traditional French Onion Soup using homemade beef stock. I would have never thought it was as easy as it was until I tried it — roast bones, simmer, strain. It’s really not complex and the flavor you get from homemade when you devote the time to simmer — I usually do about 24 hours — is incomparable to store bought.
Every two weeks or so I also roast a whole chicken (sometimes like this) just so I can make chicken stock from the bones. Sometimes I use that stock right away. Sometimes I freeze it in 4-cup baggies for later use. I usually only add an onion and salt but there are times I get creative with flavors using loads of garlic or ginger root. Most recently I used a bunch of celery hearts I had in my freezer from Thanksgiving. It was my favorite broth to date! The boys loved it last week when I made a chicken soup with tortellini — their favorite.
Last week while grocery shopping I noticed the bone-in hams were on sale for like 88 cents a pound. I’m assuming the store was just trying to get rid of the holiday leftovers and I love finding a good deal so I hopped on it. I picked butt-portion as they were slightly smaller than the shoulder ones and served it for dinner one night last week.
After dinner I cut away as much meat as I could from the bone to use on sandwiches and other leftover meals like this — click here for the quick IG recipe.
Then I put the bone in a pot, covered it with water, added a few whole cloves and brought it to a boil before simmering. The next day I drained the broth, put it in the fridge and pulled away as much meat as I could from the bone again.
I let the broth sit for two days — mostly because I was too busy to deal with it right away — and then skimmed the fat that settled at the top. It was time to make some soup!
Now if I remember correctly Mom always made split pea soup with a ham bone but I was never a fan. I’m sure I’d like it now as an adult, but I decided to stick with lentils. Nine years ago I made my first-ever batch of lentil soup and fell in love.
The soup (recipe below) came out FANTASTIC! Even the 11-Year-Old thought so. Let me repeat that because I can hardly believe it myself.
THE 11-YEAR-OLD LIKED IT! He really liked it!
I took a picture for proof but it wasn’t very flattering. He’s a pre-teen now and much more concerned about his appearance you know. So I cropped it in a way you can’t tell it’s him — but you kind of still could. 😉
Yes, he really is that big. To think he (and I!) looked like this when I started blogging…
Anyway, The Husband and 5-Year-Old didn’t board the lentil train with us but I have faith. More so in the 5-year-old than The Husband but only time will tell. I’m just going to keep making homemade good-for-you foods and chipping away at their comfort zones.
Here’s the full recipe for the soup. I weighed everything before adding so I can be specific with the nutritional information. I’ve picked my food journal back up again. More on that in a future post.
Hope you have a great day!