Level Up Your Stock By Adding Some Fresh Ginger

There's something about a spicy bowl of soup that elevates it beyond normal comfort food. On top of being warm and enriching, it works as an internal salve to heal us when we're sick. Aside from the steaming broth and salty pieces of chicken, ginger is the real star.

When simmering vegetables in water to make stock, you might toss in a piece of ginger or two, or even add in the ground version for a hint of spice. Instead of sticking to small quantities, increasing the amount of ginger in your stock can give it a bright, fiery taste that's perfect as the base for some comforting chicken noodle soup or chili.

Center the stock around the spicy aromatic by adding about two hands of ginger into the broth. Since it's more overpowering than the onions or carrots that accompany it, the vegetable stock will have an earthy, slightly sweet taste that's been kicked up with the heat of the ginger. It adds a warm, rich taste to foods you choose to saute with vegetable stock and is an ideal soup ingredient for cold and flu season.

Use your ginger vegetable stock in these recipes

With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is a top home remedy for warding off coughs and sore throats. If you're feeling under the weather or simply want to boost your immunity, add the spicy stock to soup. Branch out beyond chicken soup and whip up some hearty chicken Mulligatawny soup or tofu tom yum soup.

To spice up more than just soup, use the ginger-forward stock in casseroles, gravy, and more. It can be mixed with water or used in place of water when making rice, risotto, or pasta. When simmering the veggies for vegetable pot pie, pour in a few cups of stock to bring heat to the comforting dish.

As a cozy, rich aromatic, ginger is associated with other spicy autumnal flavors. Add the stock to fall-inspired recipes like butternut squash ravioli or acorn squash lasagna. Ginger is an all-star ingredient, encompassing a variety of flavors from zesty and spicy, to sweet and warm — any recipe that requires stock can get a boost from the aromatic.