April 22, 2011
Have you ever tasted veggie stock from a can? In my opinion, it doesn’t really resemble the taste of vegetables at all. Making your own stock is a really easy way to elevate cooking in the home kitchen and make your dishes taste fresh and flavorful. I always make it in big batches, about half of which goes in the fridge. The rest gets stored in airtight plastic containers in the freezer.
Since it happens to be Earth Day, making veggie stock is another way I reuse, renew, and recycle in our home. Stock is the ideal way to make sure that the odds and ends of my veggies, and the ones that are just barely past their prime, don’t go to waste. Below is the list of things I put into my latest batch. Really, you can use almost any leftover vegetable, even lettuce. The only veggies I don’t like to use are tomatoes. They discolor the stock, and give it kind of a funky taste, so I just don’t bother with them.
2 leeks – cut in half and then thirds
3 spring onions cut in half or one large onion cut in quarters
3 celery stems cut in thirds
2-3 carrots cut in thirds, then half
Asparagus stems (approx. 4 cups)
Fresh bouquet of herbs and lots of them (parsley, thyme, savory)
1 head of garlic
3 bay leaves
7 pepper corns
Salt to taste
Put all of the veggies in a large stockpot and cover with water allowing the water to be two inch higher than the veggies. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 5 – 6 hours. Salt to taste. Please don’t turn me into the food police. I know you’re not really supposed to salt stock, but I like it salted because I feel it adds more depth of flavor. Run the stock through a strainer, then store. Since the stock is purely vegetarian, the strained veggies go in the compost bucket under my sink.