When I was undergoing treatment, 80% of my meals were either soup or broth delivered to me by friends. I’m not they will ever know how much I treasured their offerings on those days I wasn’t feeling well.

Long ago, I had read about the health benefits of bone broth so when a friend asked if there was anything she could do, I asked her to make me some beef bone broth. (You have to know Cynthia—she would have just stood there forever if I didn’t name something.)

That beef bone broth was a game-changer, so I decided to make a batch of my own but chicken-based, instead. Both chicken and beef bone broth are great for a number of reasons: they’re easy on the stomach, ridiculously nutritious and can also be used in gravies, sauces and basically wherever broth is required in a recipe. Even better, making your own broth costs pennies per cup compared to dollars in some cases, depending on the brand.

There are many good recipes out there for chicken bone broth but the base method is pretty standard. The secret to a good bone broth is to use collagen-rich parts (like wings, backs, and feet) and to cook it for a full 24 hours to extract all the goodness. Some recipes call for cooking up to 48 hours. I cooked my batch for 22 hours and it turned out great.

I used the stovetop method from Natasha’s Kitchen but I didn’t roast my bones. I just threw them as they were (raw) in the pot and the end result was still a very flavourful broth. Also, I split the amount of chicken parts into two pots and made one batch to have a more Asian flavour profile using ginger, lemongrass and turmeric, and the other to have a more traditional profile with ingredients like celery, carrots, rosemary, thyme, etc.

If you have any bone broth tips or favourite soup recipes, drop me a line. I’m a soup nerd (and proud of it) so I’m always looking for new recipes to try, and with winter just a few months away, or maybe days—this is Alberta, after all—it’s a good idea to start stocking the larder.