For years, making vegetable stock sounded like a good idea, but it wasn’t something I would actually do. It seemed difficult, like something I would need to buy a new pot for. But now I make it on a weekly basis, and I can attest, it is incredibly easy. And it’s a great way to:
- Waste less food
- Increase flavor in soups, stews, and dishes
- Add more vitamins and minerals to your diet.
How to make vegetable stock:
Designate a container in your refrigerator or freezer for vegetable scraps. This is where you’ll put all of your onion and garlic skins, carrot tops, celery greens, outside cabbage leaves, etc.
You can use any kind of large pot for making stock. I love my cast iron dutch oven.
To make the stock:
- Chop an onion and saute it in olive oil until soft.
- the onion skin
- a carrot (chopped)
- 2 celery sticks (chopped)
- any other vegetable you have on hand, i.e. leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
- a tablespoon of culinary herbs. I use marjoram and thyme.
- a teaspoon of salt.
- the contents of your vegetable scrap container.
- a couple of garlic cloves (optional)
- a piece of kombu (Kombu is a savory, mineral-rich seaweed. You can learn more about it here.) (optional)
Cover the vegetables with water. (I usually make about 8 cups at a time.) Simmer for at least half an hour. Taste the broth. If it’s not flavorful enough, simmer it longer. When it’s done, strain it, let it cool, and pour it into jars. (If you’re going to freeze it, leave some space at the top of the jars.)
Stock is not just for soup
You can use stock to puree baby foods or cook rice. Or you can just pour it in a mug and sip it. It’s the perfect nourishing drink for a cold day or to build strength when you’re ill.