A good stock is a basic ingredient for a well made soup or stew. The problem is both home made and ready prepared stock nearly always contain onions which do give a great flavour but are high in fermentable carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are soluble and need to be left out of stock if you are making it yourself and you have a sensitive gut. But you can use the green leaves of leeks, spring onion and chives as a substitute. They are very good.
You can try using organic stock cubes (I use Kallo) and keep the stock quite dilute and see how you get on before embarking on making your own. If you don’t experience too many symptoms you can continue to use ready prepared stock or bullion.
But you might like to try making your own from ingredients you have available. Then you know what is in the stock and you can control the flavour better.
Different people react differently to many herbs and spices, so if you know you react badly to some (e.g. fennel), don’t use it. Either omit it or experiment to find an alternative.
To make chicken, fish or beef stock
You can also add either chicken bones to make a chicken stock or fish bones to make a fish stock. To make beef stock just roast beef bones in the oven with a little oil for half an hour before adding them to the vegetables.
I loved the stock I made below. It had a fragrance I really liked and made a really great soup. It was more gentle and soothing than usual and I would really recommend it. I have used thyme, parsley and bay leaves in my stock but herbs like tarragon would be lovely too.
If you have any left over stock you can reduce the volume by heating it on the hob for longer to concentrate the flavour, and then freeze the stock in ice cube trays.You can then defrost individual cubes of stock for use later.
Makes 2.5 litres
- green leaves from 1 leek
- 4 large carrots
- fennel bulb or discarded stalks and fronds
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1/2 turnip
- parsley stalks (about 20)
- 2 bay leaves
- a small bunch of parsley. Use both leaves and stalks.
- thyme sprigs (about 10)
- black peppercorns (about 10)
- 2.5 litres cold water
Wash and roughly chop all the vegetables and place in a pan large enough to hold all the vegetables plus 2.5 litres of water, (or divide between two pans if you don’t have one big enough.)
Cover the vegetables with the cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns and bring just to the boil.
Reduce the heat and allow the stock to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. You can strain and use the stock at this point but if you have time you can cool the stock, place in the fridge and allow the vegetables to continue to infuse in the stock for a further few hours and then strain and use. Remember to coll and freeze any extra stock.
If you would like more information about IBS and how to manage your sensitive gut please follow this link to the IBS Network.