« Old Bay Seasoning (Recipe: New England shrimp boil) | Main | Other People's Pantries #36 »

Homemade chicken stock (Recipe: black bean and peach soup)

Black bean and peach soup (The Perfect Pantry).

My friends share many things.

Woodworking tools. Kayaks and fishing poles. Giant chili pots.

An electric knife sharpener.

A chipper-shredder that scares the daylights out of me whenever someone sticks a branch into it.

Currently, several friends are sharing a wicked head cold.

I'm making soup for everyone, starting with many quarts of chicken stock.

What's the difference between stock and broth?

Stock is made from bones (carcass, neck, wings), long-simmered to release the flavorful gelatin into the liquid. Broth is made from meat, which gives a less rich taste. You can bump up the flavor of store-bought broth by adding carrots, onions, leeks, celery, fennel, bay leaf or herbs (thyme, parsley, chives) from your garden. Add more than flavoring to the broth -- ingredients that don't get strained out or boiled down -- and you cross over into soup.

In our cooking, we're always looking for what's fresh, young, new. But in making stock, you want the opposite: an old hen will give the best flavor. You want to extract every bit of that flavor into the liquid, so start with cold water, which draws out the juices from the chicken.

Frozen homemade chicken stock 

Here's my favorite way to make chicken stock: Start with a roast chicken; you can use a rotisserie chicken from the market, or roast your own. Remove the breast and thigh meat, and reserve for sandwiches or salad. Place the remaining carcass in a stock pot, and add one medium onion (skin on, cut in half), 1 large stalk of celery (cut in half to fit in the pot), and a few peppercorns. Cover with water by a few inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 2 hours. Remove the chicken with a spider or slotted spoon, and raise heat to high. Boil the stock until it is reduced by half. Let the stock cool, and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Black bean and peach soup

I consider myself a better-than-average soup maker, so when I tell you that this soup ranks in the top two or three of all soups I've made, ever, it's because I want you to try this right away. I first made this for my friend Lucia, whose homemade peach salsa sent it right over the top, but Trader Joe's or Newman's Own or your own peach salsa will be perfect. *Note: if you use a tomato-based peach salsa, eliminate the plum tomato in this recipe. Serves 6.


2 tsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped*
1-1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb cooked dry black beans**, or 3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 qt chicken stock
2 Tbsp mild barbecue sauce, any type
8-16 oz peach salsa (to taste: I use 8 oz of Lucia's homemade, or 16 oz of Newman's Own Peach Salsa)
1 large ripe peach, peeled and chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


In a 6-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and tomatoes, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add beans, chicken stock, barbecue sauce and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add the fresh peach, and cook for another 10 minutes. With a wooden spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot; this will help thicken the soup, as will the pectin in the fruit. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring now and then, until soup reaches desired thickness. Taste, and season as needed with salt and pepper.

** My new favorite way to prepare black beans is in the slow cooker. Pick out any stones and put 1 lb dry black beans into the cooker. Cover with water by 3 inches. Cook on low for 18 hours.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Black bean cakes with guacamole
Chilled asparagus soup
South End Deep Root Chili
Turkey-escarole soup
Zuni corn soup

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Oops! I roasted a chicken last Friday and froze the carcass in hopes of finally making my own stock. But I already took nearly all of the meat off...would you recommend still using it for stock?

What an interesting combination.

I like it.

Really? Peaches in soup. I can't imagine it, but will try it when peaches are in season.

Okay, I admit, you're right..sounds delish! Will Lucia part with her salsa recipe?

Words can only begin to describe how good that black bean soup was! Thanks!

Reducing the stock by half is intriguing - don't end up re-adding water again later? Still, it would save on freezer space, always an issue.

That is just how I make chicken stock except I hadn't thought of the peppercorns but it's a great idea. LOVE the sound of this soup. And I need to try that idea of cooking the black beans in the slow cooker too. Great post.

Good for you for making homemade stock! If I have stock in the freezer, I usually save it for sauces when the gelatin makes the most difference. I find Pacific Brand Chicken Broth to be the best substitute when I'm feeling lazy.

Thanks for the reminder that its the perfect time of the year to be simmering them bones.
This black bean-peach soup sounds comfortingly delicious!

That is just how I make stocks and soups. Thank goodness for rotisserie chickens. What did we ever do without them?

I have got to try this soup. It looks amazingly good! Black beans and peaches. I'd have never thought to mix the two.

There is so much satisfaction and goodness in home made chicken stock. I better not be lazy anymore and make some like yours :)

Lydia, I have never tried making my own chicken stock. That sounds like something I would love to have in my freezer. :)

Using a roasted chicken certainly gives your stock a rich brown color. How nice of you to be simmering a pot of soup for your friends!

This soup sounds really interesting, and it seemed strange to me at first, but then I thought of the many peach/mango types of salsas I've had and loved, so I am becoming more and more intrigued with this. I'll have to try this one out for sure--I don't make nearly enough soup!

I used chicken broth in my risotto and the flavor was rich enough. I think it would have been too rich with chicken stock. Great soup recipe!

Gee I'd gladly share any colds I get for some pints of homemade soup. That is so thoughtful of you. Stay well! Soup sounds curiously wonderful.

I just love stone fruits with black beans - can't wait to try this soup... and to make stock this weekend if I can get off my lazy arse.

Making your own chicken stock is always fun. I really like the sound of the black bean and peach salsa soup!

Hey, this looks interesting. Unique combination of ingredients.

Kathy, the carcass will be perfect for making stock. Any meat left on the carcass gets boiled until there's no flavor left at all, which is why I take the big pieces off and use them for something else.

Hilary, Barbara, Mike, Robin, Kevin, Dora: Yes, it sounds weird, but trust me and try this combination. The fruit really adds something special to the soup!

Marcia, let's ask Lucia for her salsa recipe!

Lucia, will you part with it?

Alanna, sometimes I do end up adding water, but can control the flavor by using more of the concentrated stock instead. I occasionally mix homemade stock with storebought low-sodium chicken broth, too.

Kalyn, I'm now the biggest fan of slow cooker beans. No boiling, no sticking to the pot -- I'm spoiled forever.

Julia, Veron, Susan: I love making stock. Don't you? There is something so satisfying about a large stockpot simmering on the stove. Warms the entire kitchen.

Noobcook, Patricia: You've got to try stock making. It's so easy, and the taste is elegant compared with store-bought broth.

Aimee, Callipygia: My mother always told me that chicken soup could cure a cold, and for the longest time I believed her. To this day, I always make soup when someone is sick.

Hillary, with a concentrated stock in your freezer, you can always dilute it with water to get the flavor you want. It will make a real difference in risotto, I think.

Robin, just do it -- making stock is easy, and be sure to put lots in the freezer so you always have it on hand.

Kevin, I love making stock. I always have a great sense of accomplishment, even though it takes almost no work at all!

Dora, hope you'll try it.

Don't boil it, this just makes things cloudy. You want a low simmer, 180-190 F. We leave it at this simmer for up to six hours, adding the boquet garni and vegetables at the start of the last hour. The vegetables will give up their flavor in under an hour and will start to absorb stock after an hour.

Always use cold water in cooking. Hot water, if your house is more than 5 years old may contain more lead than cold as the hot water will absorb more from the plumbing connections. In theory lead is no longer used to solder water pipe, but that is only theory.

Carrots, same amount as the celery, are also good.

If you want a dark stock, roast the bones etc. If you want a light stock don't.

And you can substitute veal or beef for the chicken on a weight for weight basis.

We have light veal, light chicken, dark beef, vegetable and shrimp stock currently in the freezer.


I'm trying to figure out what this combo would taste like! I guess I'll just have to try it instead of guessing. I trust you!

I like making my own stock and broth and like you freeze it in portions and in ice cube trays for quick use. As the weather has turned a bit cooler Soeren has a bit of the sniffles and this reminds me there is nothing better than homemade chicken broth. Thanks Lydia! Hope you are doing fine!

Being a fan of unusual flavor combinations, I must try this soup. Luckily no one here has a head cold, but since I too keep plenty of homemade chicken stock in the freezer, well, I've got no excuse to wait.

I make my stock in the slow cooker, otherwise I go crazy checking on it too much and turning the heat up and down. (I am a little O/C!)
I have never known what the difference between stock and broth was, thank you. :)

I could always use a good chicken stock recipe. Thanks!


NTSC, thanks for adding your knowledge about stock making. I always bring the stock to a boil, then reduce to simmer for the duration of time the bones are in the liquid. With the bones removed, I do boil it down to concentrate the flavor. I'm not a fan of the sweetness of cooked carrots, so I don't add them to my stocks.

Kristen, I know it sounds strange, but it's amazingly good! I was surprised, too.

Meeta, the ice cube tray method is such a good way to store stock.

Sandie, the soup is pretty darned good even if you don't have a cold. I served it at a dinner earlier this week, and not a drop was left.

Natashya, that's such a good use of the slow cooker. I never think to make stock that way -- thanks for the tip.

Paz, this is a good all-purpose stock, and an even better black bean soup!

Okay, I am so going to make this because whenever the ingredients sound weird it usually turns out great. To this day one of the greatest soups I ever had was a pineapple chicken (that sadly I have no recipe for).

Peabody, is this anything like it?

Lydia, I can't wait to try this.

This is the recipe I use. I found it online at thatsmyhome.com

Peach Salsa

6 cups peaches - diced
1 1/4 cups red onion - chopped
4 jalapeno pepper - chopped*
1 red pepper - chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro - loosely packed
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Simmer for 5 minutes.
Pack into hot jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (0-1000 ft.), 15 minutes (1001-6000 ft.), and 20 minutes (above 6000 ft.).

I need to make some stock. I need to make some soup, too, and bake some bread as well. Man I love fall. Black bean and peach soup is a new one on me, but I can see how it might be delicious. Thanks for the idea!

Peabody, I know there are some things in this soup that you can't eat, but the basic combination of beans and peaches is so good...

Laura, thanks for tracking down another interesting recipe!

Lucia, you're a peach (couldn't resist!). Thanks so much for the recipe -- it really did make amazing soup.

Ann, yes, do all of those wonderful Fall cooking things. I love making things that go into the freezer -- makes me feel somehow that I'm more ready for winter hibernation.

Lydia, what a great combination! Reminds me of the salsa in my fridge right now that I must eat. Or could I turn it into soup?

Good soup, Lydia! only I cut the liquid and beans in 1/2 and kept the rest, using 6 oz of Mark Bittman's peach salsa. It was nice and hot and the Chief Critic here ate 2 bowls when I made it Saturday, and was back for more tonight. I put some drained yogurt in it to temper the bite. (Serendipity--peaches were languishing in the fridge.) Hope your friends are well now. They should be if you gave them enough chilis.

Mimi, you could definitely turn that salsa into soup!

Susan, great substitutions on this recipe! Isn't it fun to get the salsa in there? I think it gives the soup a whole new depth of flavor.

Ah, could canned peaches be used in the winter?
Also, if this rates as one of your top two or three favorite soups, what are the others?


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.