Brrrrr…It’s been feeling frigid the past few days. And that makes me in the mood to make one thing. Soup. As I thumbed through my archive of soup recipes, I noticed that some call for stock, and others call for broth. This is something that most people probably don’t even think twice about. They either buy what the recipe calls for, or use what they have on hand and go about their business. But all this recipe reading got me wondering, what exactly is the difference between broth and stock? And are they really as interchangeable as we assume? Let’s break down the family tree…
Broth is basically the little sister of stock. It is made of vegetables, flavorful meat, and sometimes a few bones are used too. It doesn’t take long to make – 45 minutes to 2 hours, and voilà! You got yourself some delicious, hot liquid that is ready to be enjoyed as a soup!
Now stock on the other hand, is much more mature and sophisticated than Baby Broth. It is made of vegetables and lots of bones (sometimes roasted first), which may have some meat on them. It takes longer to make, a good 4 to 6 hours so that collagen can be extracted from the connective tissue of the bones. All that cookin’ makes it a thicker, more gelatinous substance, and therefore is not meant to be used as ready-to-go broth. Often times, you will need to add water to use it for your soup base. In addition, stock can be used to deglaze a pan, as a base for sauces, and even a binder instead of butter.
Want to meet the oldest brother of the family? He’s the hunky star quarterback who gets straight A’s and is super popular, clearly making him the favorite child of the family. His name? Bone broth. While it is called broth, it is most definitely more like stock…if stock were on steroids. Bone broth is made from roasted bones and simmered for (hope you have some free time on your hands) a whole 24 HOURS. Why you might ask? The purpose of bone broth is to extract the collagen, oh and about a bajillion other nutrients from the bones. Bone broth is credited with healing your gut, protecting your joints, and keep you looking younger and more radiant, among other things.
Fun fact: When stored in the fridge, broth stays in liquid form, stock and bone broth will jiggle like Jell-O. And as for vegetable stock and broth, they are one and the same since they aren’t made with animal bones.
What’s that you say? You won’t be making your own broth or stock, but only want to know what you should purchase in the store? Of course, when using store-bought broth or stock, use what you have on hand as they can most definitely be used interchangeably.
All of this broth versus stock talk has me salivating for soup! Below is a recipe that is too savory and too scrumptious not to share. And it’s a perfect way to change up your traditional chicken noodle! It’s called Avgolemeno soup, which is a Greek lemon-egg drop soup. It calls for you to make your own broth, using a whole chicken, but you can save time and buy your own broth. Or stock. What the heck, go crazy and make your own bone broth to use in this soup. Now, that would be meal planning!