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How to Make Homemade Soup Stock

by Mary Sacks

How to Make Homemade Soup Stock

There may be some science in this procedure, but making stock is more of an art form.  The issue is, how much effort, cost and time will be invested in the process and will the outcome achieve your goal? (See video below).


  • 1 to 2 onions
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks
  • 4 to 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • Extras: leeks (especially the green parts), fennel, tomatoes, mushrooms, mushroom stems, parsnips


  • sharp knife
  • stock pot
  • strainer
  • cheesecloth or coffee filters
  • storage containers

    Directions and Food for Thought

    • Collect your vegetables. Take a good look at the first three in the ingredient list. This is the math that creates the mirepoix. You can create your own mix, but keep in mind too many onions will overpower the flavor of the stock and the more carrots you use will sweeten the stock’s outcome.
    • Roughly chop the vegetables. Clean but not required to peel. Throw everything into the pot, cover with water plus another 2 to 3 inches. (Now you have some idea of your serving size.) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once you see bubbles around the edges of the pot, turn down the heat to medium-low.
    • Give it a stir once in a while and cook for 1 to 2 hours.
    • Remove the vegetable with a slotted spoon and strain the stock through a fine strainer lined with either cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
    • Allow to cool and store/freeze in airtight containers or freezer bags.

    More Food for Thought

    • Chicken stock. The same process except adding chicken pieces, bones, cut up the whole fryer, etc. There are options. A meat stock (beef) follows the same process; however, for more flavor, roasting the bones first will give your stock more flavor.
    • If I have confused you with the broth and stock terms, please see our FAQs.
    • One of the best tools in my kitchen is a fine strainer. I have three of varying sizes. I use them to strain all kinds of things and I rarely use cheesecloth because if I’m straining a broth or sauce, I want those little pieces in my dinner. That decision is yours.
    • Keep in mind, every time you make stock it’s going to taste different. Even if you use exactly the same ingredients (right down to the ounce), cooking times and different sources from which you obtained your vegetables will vary and so will your stock.


    • Variable



    There are a ton of videos out there on the subject of making stocks and broths from scratch, but these guys are right on the money when it comes to the dos and don’ts of broth making. They take a fun approach to this process and we all should join in the fun.

    Mary Sacks
    Mary Sacks


    Retired Certified Executive Chef and Educator

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