Level Up Your Soup Game…with a loose leaf tea ball

Inside of my spice ball:

  • 1 Cardamom Pod
  • 1/3 stick of cinnamon
  • 5+/- black pepper corns
  • 3-4 all spice corns
  • small handful of shiitake mushrooms (I dont like the texture of mushrooms, but I love the flavor)
  • 1/3 of a star anise (2 star points)

A spice ball can be added to any soup that needs some extra flavor or while you are making stock. At the time of this spice ball, I was making vegetable stock.

What you will need to recreate the vegetable stock:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 celery heart (the inside leafy part of a bunch of celery
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic…only have tiny ones, use more than 2-3
  • avocado oil (why? because it has a higher burning point where bad things happen)…but if you have another oil around that you enjoy cooking with, go for it

To begin, I start by heating my pot then adding oil, quickly followed by my onion, lower portion of 1 leek and 1 jalapeño. I add a little bit more oil, stir it around (aka sauté), and finally, add the chopped celery heart and 2-3 cloves of garlic. I add my garlic last because I have a tendency to let items sauté in the pot a little too long between stirring, which is fine for anything but garlic. Garlic burns easier than any other vegetable I cook with, so to save me from myself, I add it last.

Alternatives + Additions: these are more of my favorites to make soup stock with:

  • 1-2 carrots
  • A Poblano or Anaheim pepper
  • the white parts of green onions
  • ginger
  • shallots
  • fresh herbs (throw those in the spice ball though)

Sauté for 5-8 minutes; add water, chicken stock, or whatever you have; and bring to a boil for a while (the longer you let is go, the more flavor you get, but lets be real, we are human and only have so many hours in a day…hence the sautéing before the liquid adding). Generally, we cook a broiler chicken in a stove top pressure cooker, covered with 2-3 inches of water for 2 hours and use the remaining liquid as stock (even though its technically delicious bone broth) that we pour over the vegetables.

Cooking in your kitchen means learning to work with what you have. If you are not used to working in your kitchen this way, you have to “fail forward”|”practice makes improvement”|”give it the good ‘ol college try”

You don’t know if you don’t try! Need help? Reach out to me on Instagram @model_institution…I will respond the quickest on there, but Facebook is a good option too: message me, Laura Fitzgerald Renecker

Routinely taste your stock as it cook down, and feel free to add salt. You are in the driver’s seat.

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