This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
The term "stock-pot," unfortunately, is little understood in America, but it really means that the soup kettle becomes the clearing house for all available savory scraps which may accumulate in any household. These include not only bones, meat scraps, bits of vegetables, left-over cereals, rice, celery-tips, turnip tops, stray lettuce leaves and the like, but also the parings from various well-scrubbed vegetables, as onions, carrots, potatoes and the like, an occasional lemon rind, etc. On first thought it may seem that the stock-pot is a rather unsavory adjunct and many a housewife may sniff in disgust at the thought of vegetable parings in her soup. However, the skins of vegetables contain a large part of the mineral matter needed to assist in many bodily functions. When this is discarded in the paring, just so much nutrition is lost, but when parings from well-scrubbed vegetables are put in the stock-pot, another step toward better health is taken.
The ideal stock-pot is light in weight, preferably of aluminum, and should have a tight-fitting cover, for every whiff of odor that escapes means loss of nutrition and savor. To begin stock-making purchase a soup bone and a pound of beef. Crack the bone, cut the meat in cubes and brown it, and add two quarts and a half of cold water. Bring slowly to boiling point, and then add a chopped carrot, skin and all, two onions, chopped, and the peeling, two bay leaves, a few celery tops and a teaspoonful of mixed pickle spice. Add to this, when half done, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer four hours, then strain; cool uncovered, then cover and remove the fat the following day, when it may be clarified. The stock is then ready for use in making sauces, gravies, meat-flavored dishes, etc., and is an excellent foundation for any kind of soup. Bits of left-over vegetables, or rice, macaroni, celery, onion salt, etc., may be used to vary it from day to day.
Making Soup Stock.
The stock-pot should not be kept constantly simmering on top of the stove, as is popularly supposed, but should be thoroughly scalded and aired every day. The next morning, any remaining stock, together with the accumulation of the previous day's foods, should be put in the stock-pot, together with enough cold water to make the amount about two quarts, and additional vegetables, or peelings from scrubbed vegetables, and seasonings as may seem necessary. Water from boiled vegetables, or from boiled rice, potatoes or macaroni may be added. This should be simmered for at least two hours, then strained, cooled, and the fat removed. It may also be cleared if desired.