Stocks 101: Chicken Broth with Matzo Balls

For the second part of the Stocks 101 workshop, Ian showed us how to make a white stock. White stock is basically made with chicken bones and veggies like carrots, celery, onions, leeks and herbs like peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley.


Another thing that Ian brought up was you can add fillers like mushrooms, dumplings and grains like quinoa into a stocks to make a more filling soup.


Ian planned to make a Chicken Broth with Matzo Balls from the white stocks. Matzo ball mix is a flour/wheat base with leavening. It is a great pantry item to whip up some quick dumplings.


So, the first thing Ian prepared was the Matzo dough using the store bought Matzo ball mix. According to the instructions, you’ll need to add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil and salt to taste. You may add bits of ham, mushrooms, etc into the dough if you like to. It will form a wet dough and need to be chilled in the fridge to firm up while Ian proceed to demonstrate how to debone a chicken for the chicken stocks.

Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-4First, Ian bisected the chicken wings at the socket into wing tips, winglets and drumettes. Ian used a small pairing knife to do the whole deboning process, amazing!Tip: roasted wing tips are great for nibbling.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-5Next, Ian separated the thigh from the breast by slicing through the skin between the thigh and the breast. There is no meat attach there.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-6The next step is to bend the chicken leg the other way slowly to dislocate the joint.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-7To remove the leg, Ian pulled back the leg, peeled and cut a little at a time towards the bone.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-8What is left is the breast and the frame. The breast bone in the middle is very soft. Cut one or two milliliters from the breast bone down the center and you’ll see the tenderloin and the breast.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-9Cut towards the bones to remove the breast and tenderloin.Tip: remove the tendon from the tenderloin which is chewy by holding the tendon and scraping it off the tenderloin.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-10Finally,you’ll end up with the carcass for making stocks. You’ll need about 6 carcasses to make stocks. Stuff the neck and any other bones into the carcass when freezing it to save storage space.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-11Ian also showed us how to stretch a chicken breast by butterflying it at the thicker part. One chicken breast can feed two people by thinning it out, pounding it and breading it.Tip: deep fried the chicken skins to make crackers.


To make the chicken stocks, Ian used 6 carcasses with bones. Frozen bones are best for making stocks. You do not need to defrost the bones for making soup because as you defrost, you’ll loose some flavour through the liquids from defrosting.

If you roast the bones before making stocks, you’ll end up with a brown stock. Roasted chicken bones will make the stocks sweeter.

To make the chicken stocks, Ian added 4 carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 1 large onion, some thymes and 1/2 teaspoons whole peppercorn. The vegetables are chopped relatively small so that more surfaces are exposed and give more flavour. The ratio of vegetables to chicken bones is about 20%. Add enough cold water to cover all the ingredients and bring the water to a boil. Once it’s starts to bubble, reduce it to low heat to simmer, uncover. Do not bring the stocks to a rolling boil as it will yield a greasy stock. The rolling boil process will emulsify the fat. Skim off the scums that forms on the top with a spoon.

The chicken stocks has to be simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. Do not over cook the stocks as the vegetables will disintegrate and makes a the soup cloudy or muddy. Strain the stocks and chill in the refrigerator after it cools off. You may then remove the fat cap easily the next day.


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Stocks 101: Butternut and Coconut Cream Soup with Veggie Stocks

This is the second workshop organized by the Richmond Food Security Society on Basic Food Skills. This workshop is all about stocks.


I must say that documenting such workshop is the hardest. All I got was the few words on the board. I had to take photos and notes at the same time. Unfortunately, I do not know short hand and have not pickup the texting language. I’m trying my best to share what I learnt.

We learned from Ian, that there are three kinds of stocks, brown stocks, white stocks and veggie stocks. Brown stocks is usually made with veal and chicken bones and it takes a long time to make, something like 12 hours to simmer. So, we are not going to do this. It is usually made in restaurant with shift work.

White stocks is made with chicken bones and veggies like celery, onions, leeks, carrots and herbs.

Veggies stocks is also made with veggies like celery, onions, leeks, carrots and herbs. The ratio of celery, carrot, leek and onion is 1:1:1:2. Leeks can be substituted with onions as it’s expensive.

Herbs which are common for making stocks includes pepper corns, bay leaf and parsley.


It is recommended to use a tall pot to make stocks. Tall and slender pot is recommended to prevent too much evaporation during simmering as the stocks is to be simmered uncovered.



To make veggie stocks, Ian used:

  • two carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • some frozen chopped parsley (leftovers from the previous workshop)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorn
  • 1 bay leaf (if possible, get some from someone with a Bay Laurel tree, an evergreen tree which has more intense flavour than those store bought one)
  • a small bunch of thymes


  • a stock of lemon grass (to tie to the Thai flavour as Ian will be making a Butternut and Coconut Cream Soup with the veggie stocks). Cut the lemon grass 6 inches from the root, remove the outer husk, trim root off and rough chop.


  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (without the skin as the skin makes the stocks bitter)
  • 1 leek roughly chopped (use only the white part as the greens will yield a dark stocks, make sure you wash the leek thoroughly as it often has dirts in between the leaves)
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger
  • cold water just enough to cover all the veggies


  • Bring the water to just bubbling, lower heat and let simmer, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.


After simmering for 30 to 40 minutes, you’ll get a flavourful clear veggie broth. Strain the stocks.


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Hearty Vegetable Soup

It’s the time of the year where a hot bowl of soup is good for any meal. We are embracing a very cold winter according to the weather forecast.


In the South Arm Kitchen, a group of seniors made a big pot of Hearty Vegetable Soup. We made so much that there were plenty of leftovers to take home.


While one group was making the soup, the rest were busy making brownies for the South Arm Christmas Fair fund raising for the Richmond Food Bank.The South Arm Cooking Club for seniors made brownies for last year’s fund raising too and managed to raise $681 for the Richmond Food Bank as reported in this post.


The brownies are very rich and chocolatey. You can find the recipe in this post except that we added 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts this year.


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Curried Zucchini Soup

Back in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen, Minoo wanted to show case zucchini. Minoo prepared 2 recipes with zucchini and she shared with us the benefits of zucchini listed below:

  • helps cure asthma, as it contains vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • helps to protect against cardiovascular disease from the antioxidant of vitamin C
  • helps to prevent disease like scurvy and bruising caused by deficiency of vitamin C
  • helps to prevent risk of having multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • has high water content (over 95%), high nutritious value and contain very low calories which makes it a perfect snack item for people on diet
  • contains useful amount of folate, potassium and vitamin A, necessary for proper functioning of the human body
  • contains vitamin C and lutein, both of which are known to be good for the eyes
  • good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin and manganese
  • helps the body in supporting the arrangement of capillaries
  • helps to protect the body against colon cancer
  • beneficial in preventing heart disease and related symptoms, such as high cholesterol
  • the rind of zucchini contains the nutrient beta-carotene, which is known to be full of antioxidant properties which helps to protect cell against oxidation damage
  • a good source of magnesium and phosphorus which is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones


This Curried Zucchini Soup was a hit because the people which we shared the food with in the church came asking for the recipe.


  • 4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 baby zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Source: this recipe is adapted from

Serves 4


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Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

The theme for this South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is carrot. The senior garden has yield a good harvest of carrots. All thanks to the volunteers who mind the garden all summer long. One of the volunteer is Frank who keeps a healthy lifestyle at his golden years.


Health benefits of carrots:

  • an excellent source of beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A
  • a good source of dietary fiber and potassium
  • help prevent night blindness, an inability of the eyes to adjust to dim lighting or darkness caused by deficiency of Vitamin A. Vitamin A combines with therotein opsin in the retina’s rod cell to form rhodopsin, which is needed for night vision.
  • may help to lower blood cholesterol lever
  • protect against caner


  • excessive intake can give skin a yellowish tinge


Marian prepared a couple of recipes which the main ingredient is carrot. A carrot soup and a carrot loaf. The Carrot and Red Lentil Soup is sweet and laden with fiber. It can be served creamy or chunky according to your preference. Most of the participants preferred a creamy carrot soup except for Marcel. So, for Marcel’s sake, we blended half of the soup to make creamy soup and added the remaining half of chunky soup for texture.


  • 8 medium size carrots, peel and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup split red lentil
  • 5 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • fresh cilantro for garnishing (optional)
  • plain yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from the International Bestseller ‘Staying Alive’ via Marian

Serves 8


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Lunch Box Idea: Alphabet Soup

Alphabet-Soup-8Minoo decided to do some lunch box recipes at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen since it’s the start of another school year. I’m sure many parents are scratching their heads on what to prepare for their kids after the summer break. So, here are some of the ideas. Most of the recipes Minoo selected are adpated from Alive Magazine.

Minoo also shared a few tips from Alive Magazine on school lunch solutions.

  • Plan ahead school lunches over the weekend
  • Get the children involved in the planing, preparation and pick some healthy food of their choice
  • Make the lunch fun to eat like this Alphabet Soup, or lunches that involve squirting, dipping or slurping
  • Make colorful lunch i.e. include vegetables and fruit of different shades of colour

Bear in mind the following when preparing lunch solutions for kids who are growing fast and with high metabolism. Meals should include all food group that include:

  • a source of protein (meat, egg, beans, legume, tofu or seeds)
  • a source of calcium (milk, fortified soy, almond or rice milk, cheese, yogurt or sesame paste)
  • vegetables and fruit especially dark green veggies like broccoli, spinach and orange veggies like carrot, sweet potatoes
  • two serving of grains or bread like pasta, rice, oatmeal, couscous, with whole grain preferred
  • a healthy treat like homemade cookies, muffin or granola

A hot bowl of noodle soup is always welcoming in colder fall days. To make it appealing to kids, alphabet noodle is used here. You can use any other noodles of your preference. Home made soup is much more healthier than store bought ones which are laden with salt. Thermos is the best way to store the soup to keep it hot.


  • 2 cups (500ml) hot water plus 2 cups (5000ml) chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 to 125ml) alphabet noodles or your preferred noodles
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup green peas or corn
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from Alive Magazine #275, September 2005

Serves 4


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Cauliflower Potato Soup

The Community Kitchens resumed activities in September.  The first kitchen to kick start is the Senior Cooking Club at South Arm Community Center.


Minoo and Marian led the first kitchen. Marian will be in-charged of the Senior Cooking Club for the next 4 weeks as I was told. The recipes for this kitchen were sourced by Marian. The first recipe was Cauliflower Potato Soup.


  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes, about 5 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • 6 cups of water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream or soy milk, optional
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste


P/S: the garlic is not supposed to be in the above photo

Source: unknown via Marian

Yields: 4 to 6 servings


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Zucchini and Dill Soup

The second dish which Minoo shared in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen inspired by Woman’s Health Magazine was Zucchini and Dill Soup.


This Zucchini and Dill Soup is very refreshing. It is also quick to make which makes it a great recipe for a busy weekday supper.


  • 5 zucchini, grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cartons (900ml) of chicken or vegetable broth
  • a bunch of fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil


P/S: the red pepper is not supposed to be in this picture

Source: Minoo

Prep time: 20 minutes;  Cook time: 20 minutes;  Serves 8


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Herbed Lentil and Barley Soup

June and Linda, voluntered to lead the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for this cooking session while Family Services is in the midst of finding someone to lead the kitchen after Charlene goes on a greener pasture.


The first dish led by June is called Herbed Lentil and Barley Soup. This is a healthy soup which is easy to make and delicious at the same time. Lentils which comes in red, green or brown are very high in fibre and folic acid. The soup is thick and almost resembles a stew. This is a great vegetarian alternatives. It’s is inexpensive and it freezes well as most soup.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil like canola
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes (or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley)
  • 1/2 cup green or brown lentils (which holds their shape better when cooked)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 14oz (398ml) tin chopped tomatoes, with juice
  • lemon slice (optional)
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette
  • olive oil
  • garlic for rubbing baguette


Source: this recipe is adapted from Mohinder Sidhu

Prep time:  30 minutes; Cook time: 1 1/2 hours;  Serves 4


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Cannellini Bean Soup with Kale and Garlic Olive Oil Crostini

The second dish of the kale feast is Cannellini Bean Soup with Kale and Garlic-Olive Oil Crostini.


This hearty soup is a complete meal. It has protein from the bean, carbohydrate from the crostini and vegetables.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the crostini
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 or 2 more whole cloves for the crostini
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 x 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, water or a combination
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 baguette


Source: this recipe is adapted from Food Network, Dave Lieberman

Prep time: 20 minutes;  Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes;  Serve 6 to 8 people


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