With winter on its way, it’s a great time to load up on a variety of soup stocks. Chicken, beef, fish, and vegetable stocks can all be made easily at home. Homemade stocks are a healthy, low-sodium alternative to store-bought broths and stocks. With some basic knowledge, you can make a variety of stocks affordably at home. Spend a few afternoons preparing batches from the recipes below, then cool and store in the freezer until needed. With the base on hand for all your favorite soups and stews, you’ll be ready when winter blows in.

1. Bone Broth

Stocks can be made from a variety of ingredients using many different methods. For a comprehensive overview on homemade stocks, check Wellness Mama’s post on Bone Broth. Author Katie explains the health benefits, varieties, and how to make, use, and store your stock.
Photo and recipe from Desert Tortoise Botanicals

2. Beef Stock

Vegetable scraps and beef bones (you can ask for these at your butcher’s counter) are all you need to make your own flavorful beef stock with this simple recipe from Jenny McGruther at Nourished Kitchen. Make a batch to freeze and you’ll be ready to make French onion soup, beef stew, and chili all winter long.
Photo and recipe from Nourished Kitchen

3. Chicken Stock

Not all stocks are created equal. In a post for Serious Eats, Daniel Gritzer covers all you need to know about the many ways to make chicken stock.
Photo and recipe from Serious Eats

4.  Quick Vegetable Stock

Vegetarians need not be left out of the stock scene. Mark Bittman’s recipe for vegetable stock is quick (it only takes an hour!) and flavorful. It’s the perfect start for all your vegetarian soups and stews. Use it to cook rice or add flavor to your other favorite vegetarian recipes as well.
Photo and recipe from Mark Bittman

5.  Fish Stock

Ready for chowder? Fish stock can be made easily at home using any white fish. This recipe from Bon Appétit is quick enough to make fresh for your soup, or can be stored in the freezer.
Photo and recipe from Bon Appétit

6. Turkey Stock

Although it’s tempting to simply trash all of the leftover turkey bones after your Thanksgiving feast, make sure to save them for turkey stock, which is heartier (and healthier) than the traditional chicken stock. Plus, you’ll have a great base to make Turkey Meatball Soup after the holidays!
Photo and recipe from CHOW.com; header image from Elana’s Pantry

Kelly Hatton is a writer and editor based out of Denver, Colorado.

See more articles