Okay, I know it’s not a super exciting post. Whee, vegetable stock!
It has to be done though because t’s a building block to great things, and the honest truth is that if you peel your vegetables and throw them in the green bin, or if you tend to discard things like the dinged up outer stalks of celery and the dry papery outer part of onions…
YOU’RE WASTING A TON OF MONEY!!!
Yes, you heard me right. I mean, think about it. You’re probably paying $2 or more for every one of those 900ml boxes of broth. Maybe more if it’s organic. And if you’re not, you’re getting an inferior product with MSG, artificial colourings, flavourings, and who knows what. Not to mention, it’s in a tetra pack. I have mixed feelings about tetra packs at the best of times.
What if I told you you could make stock virtually for free*?
*Assumes you eat vegetables like a normal human being.
I’m not going to go on a diatribe about peeled “baby” carrots, but if you’re still buying them, you will save yourself somewhere in the neighbourhood of a small fortune every year by investing in a $5 peeler. Find one of these babies at a home show (the only place I’ve ever seen them physically). I have no idea what they’re called, and they don’t look like much, but they’re Swiss. They are astonishing. You can peel turnip like a hot knife through butter.
So… you’re peeling carrots for the picky pants in your family. Save them. Put them in a big bag in the freezer. Also throw those crappy dinged up pieces of celery, the leafy parts, and the trimmed ends in there. Throw your potato peels (if you actually do such a thing) in there. Throw the half bell pepper that got all old-man wrinkly in the fridge because you forgot about it in there. The pieces you cut off mushrooms. Yes, even the end trimmings and papery onion peels. You got half a large freezer bag? You got free* soup, baby. And even if you don’t like vegetable stock itself for some strange reason, you can use it to make your turkey/chicken stock. Win-win.
I don’t know about you. I use a ton of stock and broth. I make soups, I like risotto, I add it the cooking pot when making rice to give it a nice flavour, I use it to reduce cooking oil when I make stir fry. I even sub out some of the water in my bread recipes from time to time. Stock is good. And vegetable stock made by you is every bit as good and flavourful as chicken broth for a great many of these uses.
|Prep time||5 minutes|
|Cook time||40 minutes|
|Total time||45 minutes|
|Dietary||Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian|
- 1 onion, coarse chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, coarse chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups vegetable peels or discards (carrots, celery, potatoes, mushrooms, etc)
- 1 heaped tablespoon garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or 2 tablespoon fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 4-6 whole sprigs, fresh)
- 8 cups water (2 quarts)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
I strongly recommend that you include the common soup aromatics (celery and carrots). Other good vegetable choices include potato peels, peppers, mushrooms, butt ends of asparagus, and more. Feel free to experiment, but do not use vegetable scraps from broccoli/cauliflower or other relatives of the Brassica family for vegetable stock making.
|Step 1.||In a large cooking pot on medium-high heat, sauté the onions, garlic, and vegetable scraps in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until the onions begin turning translucent and everything is fragrant.|
|Step 2.||Add 8 cups of water, salt, and herbs. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.|
|Step 3.||Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour through a sieve to remove the vegetables and most of the herbs.|
|Step 4.||Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or portion and freeze.|
Hmm I was just wondering why you said not to use brocoli scraps? I have made all my broths from this and they turn out delish!!! 🙂
Food Retro says
I’ve had the stalks give a funky taste to the broth. Maybe I’m using too much? Hit me with your wisdom: about how much do you use when using the stalks?
Laura Watt says
And never ever use beets! it is not fun, just gross. I promise.
Food Retro says
Good call. I don’t know if I would have tried… did it turn your stock pink? 😀
Pink vegetable stock…what a hoot! Make it for Valentine’s Day! : )
Tammy @ creativekkids.com says
It looks delicious! I’ll have to start saving those scraps! Thanks for linking up with the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board!
Positively Pampered Patty says
I always make my own stock, super easy and so much healthier. Another great tip, you know in the grocery store sometimes they bundle the peppers and other veggies that are not the nicest but still ripe, and they are cheaper, those are perfect for stock as you will cook them right away and if you’re like me, will freeze as well. Easy on the budget, still healthy.
Food Retro says
Great tips if you don’t have scraps saved up! Thanks 😀
Lisa Thornbury says
Brilliant. Why haven’t I been doing this?!?!? I’m starting NOW!!!!
I made this for the first time today and it turned out SOUPER!!!!!
Thanks for this—my family thought I was nuts for saving all our veggie scraps, but look who’s nuts now. “No soup for them! One year!” 😉
Food Retro says
😀 I’m glad you liked it.