My gram told me a story one time of how she and her sister n law were trying to teach my cousin how to make soup. They told her all the ingredients to put in the pot - how long to cook etc. I'm guessing that as they were telling her she was actually putting it together. As they were sharing my cousin blow them away by asking do I add water? I've often laughed about that.
To me it all starts with a good broth or stock. Broth or Stock? There is a difference - broth is made with, from all the info I've been able to gather, more meat than bone ratio and if vegetable are used basic (onion, garlic, some carrots) salt and pepper to taste as well as maybe parsley cooking up to 3 hours. I'm sure there's other ingredients out there you might like to use. Stock is well - I like to describe it with this scene from Nanny McPhee - - When the kids were all pretending to be ill and Nanny McPhee went to the cook for her to make a soup - the cook was all excited to be able to use all the slop from the discard bucket - you know stuff that would go to compost! LOL Well the vegetables that you probably discard will help make some of the best stock. Stock also uses the discard bones with a bit of meat left of more bone to meat ratio. You also want to cook it low - med. simmer for several hours. One of the best stock /soups I made was from a recipe I took from "The Great Physician's Rx For Arthritis by Jordan Rubin"
The recipe had everything, however I left out the chicken feet! Well, they don't seem to come along with the chickens you get! LOL But this stock you cook for something like 18 -24 hours. I managed it working out some kinks but it was awesome. I would do it again.
So I've made soup with using either broth or stock. If I'm in a hurry and don't have my own on hand, I'll use a good broth I purchased. I look for one that has the best ingredients listed - organic and no MSG (of any form, it can be under different names). I prefer stock. So below is stock I made - I have to say all the vege's were usable but wasn't going to last another week in the frig. Also I did purchase a natural free-bird chicken and I didn't use the back that I would normally use. Sophie got that. The other thing I had more meat to bone ratio - but it worked out I cooked it for a long time.
In a large pot place all the vegetable's you can think of. I used turnips, carrots, onions, garlic, celery with leaves, red bell peppers, green chili peppers, cabbage, (I think that's it).
I cleaned and cut up the chicken and through it in as well. Add water - about 2" over or more. The more the more stock. I also added to taste/ salt, peppercorns 1-3, cayenne pepper, chili power, some herbs, sage, rosemary, bayleaf, etc. If you're not giving the back to your dog just through the bird in or use leftover meat on bones from a roaster or turkey carcass.
The chicken or whatever meat you happen to be using can also be used for many other dishes. The possibilities are endless. Lastly if you have questions to any of this fill free to ask away.