A Flavorful Soup Stock Doesn't Have To Be Complicated

Soup season is upon us and it's time to experiment with all the hearty, warming soups there are to make. Let your creativity run rampant as you find dairy-free ways to thicken up tomato soup or elevate soup with farro. No matter how you play around with soup, keep the stock simple.

As the base of a soup, the stock is arguably the most important component. Despite its relevance, stock doesn't have to be complicated. Rather than overwhelming the stock pot with a bunch of ingredients sitting on top of one another, pay attention to a few basic ingredients. Other than salt, aromatics, particularly garlic and onions, are the key to savory stock.

You can add sliced onions and cloves of garlic into the pot straight away or heat them on the stove to deepen their flavors. Even if you're short on other ingredients, garlic, onions, and a plentiful helping of salt will elevate any stock to where it needs to be. While that's a good starting point, a few other simple tips will help you create exquisite stock every time.

Follow these easy tips for flavorful stock

Although bringing in aromatics to accompany the stock ingredients will enhance them, focusing on elevating the basics will improve your stock. Instead of just placing the bones in the water straight away, start roasting leftover meat bones before simmering them. The simple step caramelizes the bones, lending your stock a more robust flavor.

Saving all your scraps is an easy way to ensure your stock tastes amazing. While you don't want it to overflow with ingredients, having a substantial amount of items to add to it is important, too. As soon as the thought of making stock floats through your head, squirrel away the remnants of chopped carrots, cabbage, or ginger into a plastic bag in the freezer. This tip also works for bones and shells of meat or seafood that you cook or order from a restaurant. When it's time to make stock, you'll have a stockpile of delicious remains you can toss into the pot and simmer away.

If you don't have a library of scraps and bits to choose from, you can always make up for flavor in other ways. Loading up your stock with umami-rich ingredients is a cheat to stock that tastes like much more effort was poured into it. Bouillon cubes, a handful of mushrooms, a squeeze of tomato paste, leftover cheese rinds, or a dash of soy sauce bring full-bodied flavor to stock.