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Recipes: Mother's broth

By Lynne Rossetto Kasper

November 28, 2007

MOTHER'S BROTH

Makes 7 quarts and halves easily.

• 5 lb. turkey wings, or 5 lb. whole chicken (preferably raised without antibiotics or hormones), cut up with a cleaver if possible

• About 6 quarts cold water

• 2 large onions (11/2 lb.), trimmed of root ends and coarsely chopped (do not peel)

• 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

• 1 large rib celery with leaves, coarsely chopped

• 4 large whole heads garlic, trimmed of root ends and halved horizontally

• 2 whole cloves

• 1 bay leaf, broken

• 6 drained canned tomatoes

Directions

Place the wings in a tall 8- to 10-quart pot. Add enough cold water to come to within 3 inches of the lip of the pot. Bring the water slowly to a simmer. Skim off all foam. Add remaining ingredients, partially cover, and bring to a slow bubble. Once there is a slow bubble (erupting on the surface every 4 or 5 seconds), you can set the soup to simmer without worrying about it. Just be sure there is plenty of liquid covering the solids. Simmer 12 to 14 hours. Strain the broth through a fine sieve.

Cool the broth as quickly as possible, either over ice, or in the refrigerator. Then refrigerate the broth about eight hours, or until its fat has hardened. Skim off hardened fat, and freeze in assorted containers.

The cure: Every child in Italy has known the nourishment of a bowl of tiny pasta cooked in homemade broth and finished with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It made being sick almost worthwhile. Use any small pasta; cook until very soft.

HEARTY VEGETABLE BROTH

Makes about 31/2 quarts.

• 2 tbsp. fruity extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

• 2 large ribs celery with leaves, coarsely chopped

• 4 medium onions, coarsely chopped

1/2lb. fresh white or brown mushrooms, coarsely chopped

• 3 large cloves garlic, crushed

• 1 tbsp. dry basil

2/3c. dry white wine

• 6 large romaine lettuce leaves, coarsely chopped

• 1 large ripe fresh tomato, chopped, or 2 canned tomatoes, crushed

• Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

• About 4 to 5 quarts water

Directions

Heat the oil in a 12-inch sauté pan or skillet (not nonstick!) over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spatula, until the onions are a golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and basil and cook a few seconds more.

Add the wine and stir, scraping up any brown glaze in the pan, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to an 8-quart stock pot. Add the romaine, tomatoes, nutmeg and enough water to cover the solids by 3 to 4 inches. Bring to a gentle bubble, partially cover, and simmer slowly for about 90 minutes.

Strain the broth into a large bowl, pressing down on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Cool and chill. Skim off any solidified oil from the broth's surface. Refrigerate or freeze.