Bone Soup Basics

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“Every time you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”

– Heather Morgan

By: Martha Benedict, OMD Lac MA


3-10 lbs bones
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unpasteurized

Optional Ingredients:

– parsley
green onions
bay leaves
1 white or yellow onion, quartered (leave skins)
1 carrot
celery stalk tops
celery root quartered


Use organic bones with skin and fat. I prefer organic neck, backbone, ribs and pork neck bones. Lamb neck bones are also acceptable. I find beef knuckle bones very indigestible comparatively. Perhaps I haven’t mastered yet the art of preparing them well. I usually buy 3-10 pounds at a time depending upon whether I need something quick for that day or whether i’m cooking a large batch to prepare for freezing. For fish stock, I use fish heads and skeletons and simmer for one hour only as the bones are so fine.

Cover ingredients with pot full of water, bring to boil, skim off “scum” and reduce to medium simmer for 1-36 hours (I mean this and have done it every way.) If you cook for a long time, add water as needed. you may prefer to cook the bones in a pressure cooker for an hour to reduce them considerably, but be careful of possible explosion. the one hour time yields the bet lightest flavor. the longer the cook time the more bones elemental nutrition you get (and it still tastes better than anything you can purchase).

After cooking, allow to cool. Strain all the ingredients and dispose. Refrigerate the liquid overnight. Skim off the slightly hardened fat and dispose (unless you are saving fats to make soap). Fill freezer containers or zip lock freezer sized to accommodate your family needs. Ten pounds of bones makes about 8-10 quarts of stock.


I add one teaspoon sea salt and unpasteurized vinegar. i might add a head of greens such as parsley, green onions, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, slices of ginger root, one or two white or yellow onions, a carrot or two, celery stalk tops, celery root.  Any other ingredients you may desire for your personal preferences are just a good.

I virtually do not cook with water in most meals if can substitute bone broth. it adds another rich dimension of flavor whether i’m poaching fish or making miso soup (I usually use fish broth here), slow-cooking beans and other soups in the slow cooker or on top stove, simmering veggies in a broth instead of steaming them, using liquid to reheat leftovers when a spoonful of liquid may be necessary.