I have been loving soup lately, much to the chagrin of my family. My husband says that meat should not be in liquid. He thinks it should all be cooked on an open flame. Whatever. We're not charros.
Anyway, good soup requires good broth. Here's how to make broth the easy way... Whenever you cut up an onion, carrot, or celery (or parsnip or turnip for those who eat more veggies than us) save ALL the scraps (papery onion skins and ugly ends included) and put them in a gallon ziploc in the freezer. Also, if parsley or other fresh herbs starts to get wilted, put that in there. Any time you have any chicken scraps, cooked or uncooked, put them in there too; the leftover bones, skins, etc. Especially if you have a roasted chicken put the carcass in there. Also put the gizzards and innards in there (no need to cook). When it gets full, put everything in a big stock pot and cover with about an inch of water. Don't worry if you don't have a lot of celery or parsley or whatever in the mix; it's different each time and it will taste fine. I never waste good new veggies making broth--only scraps. (Save your ziploc and just put it back in the freezer to start filling again.) Put some bay leaves in there. Simmer for about 4 hours. When you see the scum, skim it off. (I don't think it would hurt you, but my intuition says to remove it.) When the broth is nice and brown, let it cool and strain all the stuff out--discard. You can also season at this point with salt, pepper, and herbs, or just leave it and season when you use it. I glean any meat bits for soup. Put the fresh broth in a big bowl and chill overnight. That way you can remove all the congealed oil. (Again, not bad for you, but greasy broth seems less appealing.) Then freeze in quart bags or quart yogurt containers. Now you have delicious homemade (FREE) broth with no msg or thickeners or stabilizers and whatnot. When you make soup with it, usually you can add water to it and still have plenty of flavor.