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We’re heading into fall-and that means soup season! I think the best soups find their base in homemade stock. I have nothing against the store-bought variety of stock-its convenient and quick when you’re in a real hurry. I just think homemade tastes better-it has more depth of flavor and if you make it ahead of time, it’s as easy to grab as the store version.

For the vintage cook, making stock was another way to get as much use out of precious food ingredients as possible. It’s easy to make. All you need is a meat base, a few basic veggies and a soup pot! Beef and chicken stock freezes well and you don’t have to buy fancy freezer containers. I use the Chinese takeout soup containers, quart yogurt containers and large margarine tubs!

If you have some steak, a pot roast, or whole roasted chicken, don’t throw the bones away-make some stock, stick it in the freezer, and you’re halfway to tasty soup.

Here’s my personal recipe:

• 1 whole roasted chicken or turkey, skin and meat removed OR one pot roast bone OR two sirloin steak bones
• Celery hearts and stalks
• 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
• 2 whole garlic cloves
• Spices-I use bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and sometimes a little red pepper or tabasco sauce

Strip any meat off the bones. My husband likes to buy store-made roasted chicken on sale-usually at the end of the day, when the deli wants to get rid of the day’s meat. I put it in the refrigerator for a day-when it’s cold, it’s easier to strip the meat off the bones and to separate the skin from the meat.

Throw out the skin, keep the meat and put the bones in your stew pot. If you’ve made a roast or steak, pull as much meat off as you can, and put the bones in a pot.

One Kroger roasted chicken yielded this meat and bones

Cover the meat with water. Throw in the veggies and spices, mix, and bring to a boil.

Everything in the pot and ready to simmer!

Simmer for one hour. Allow to cool.

All finished cooking and ready to be strained

Run through a strainer and put the liquid into freezer containers.

I got two quart size containers of stock from my chicken.

To thaw, bring out a container or two and place in frig for about one day before you want to make your soup.