It's soup season. Which means pots of simmering goodness on the stove, filling the air with aromas that satisfy long before the first taste hits your lips.
Start that salivating even before you make the soup by making your own homemade stock. This one is inspired by Asian flavors, created on a whim when we decided to have ramen for dinner (no, not the packets of fried noodles, but a version of chicken noodle soup chock full of veggies and protein.)
(makes 2.5 quarts)
4 oz shitake mushrooms
2 TBS oil
1 tsp salt
1 small bunch scallions
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3-4 inch piece of ginger, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 c soy sauce
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add in mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and just starting to release their liquid
2. Smash the garlic cloves and ginger pieces and combine with soy sauce and scallions in a bowl or measuring cup (I use the measuring cup so I don't get another container dirty!)
3. Stir flavorings into mushrooms, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Stir in 3 quarts of water.
5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until it's smelling good and reduced a bit.
6. Strain out the vegetables.
7. Stock will keep, refrigerated, for up to about 5 days. I generally put it into 2-cup portions (let it cool and pour into ziploc bags, then place the bags flat on a cookie sheet to freeze flat) and freeze it.