Thursday, July 26, 2012

Homemade Vegetable Stock

Whenever I used to see vegetable stock in a recipe, I just used water, or if I was feeling real fancy I would buy chicken or vegetable stock (at about $3 a box).  I had no idea it was SO EASY to make!  Since farmers markets are in full swing I would bet that you also have some leftover vegetables or ends that you don’t eat.  Turn them into stock and freeze it for later use.  Don't rush out and buy lots of vegetables just to make stock, this is is perfect for whatever you have left. 

This is a pretty loose recipe since you can just use whatever you have on hand.  I have used whole carrots and whole onions, and I have also used the ends/tips and what I have peeled away.  Both work just fine.  I always cut off the celery leaves, since I’m not going to eat those anyways, and just save them with some other vegetable scraps.  Just make sure to rinse off the dirt first, but this is perfect for the outer layers of onions or whatever you don't eat. 

If I have all day I’ll put it all in my giant crockpot full of water and just let it steep all day.  Or, I have also filled a giant stock pot on my stove and simmered it for 1 hour.  I also use fresh garlic and whatever herbs I have on hand. 

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 green onions or a small leek, rinsed and diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • sea salt
  • pepper

 You can also use mushrooms, broccoli stems, or whatever odds & ends you have.

After it's done cooking just strain it, throw away all the vegetables (you have all the nutrients and vitamins anyways) and portion into bags or containers. Or better yet, put the leftovers in your compost!  The stock freezes really well and you can measure it into 1 cup size freezer bags so you can pull it out whenever you need it for a recipe.  I have also used it to cook whole grain brown rice, instead of boiling it in water.  It gives it a great flavor.

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