Vegetable Soup Stock

Vegetable Soup Stock

Vegetable Stock

Or…using up the scraps

How often do you prepare a meal, and in doing so end up with a pile of vegetable scraps as big as the meal itself…and into the garbage they go?  Today, we are going to say Wait!  Don’t throw those scraps out.  As we are deep into the colder months, soups and stews come into more regular rotation, and with those, soup stocks are often used.  Luckily, homemade stock is ridiculously simple, and in this wonderful twist, it is an easy way to use up all those beautiful ends, bits, and leaves you were about to discard.  This is less a recipe and more a guideline.  Once you understand the basics, don’t be afraid to get creative!  

Scraps to Use:

So many scraps make good stock, so don’t be limited to this list.  But a good start includes onion pieces, onion skins (But these will turn your stock brown.  Leave out if you prefer a clearer stock), celery leaves or ends, carrot tops, well-washed vegetable peels, garlic, dark green part of leeks, mushroom stems, ginger, leftover herbs or herb stems.

Scraps to Leave Out:

Cabbage, broccoli, beets, brussels sprouts, or artichokes.  These veggies will overpower your stock or may create a bitter flavor.  Also, moldy or rotten vegetables.

Collecting your scraps:

If it is going to take you a while to accumulate enough scraps, keep them in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the freezer.  When you are ready to make your stock, just pull them out, add to your pot, and you are ready to go.

Don’t forget your Ground 2 Table spices:

Ground 2 Table spices make a fantastic and flavorful addition to your homemade stock.  Here, though, you really get to be creative.  Looking for a good all-around stock?  Go for Spice Blend 1.  Want something gentle and herby?  Spice Blend 9 is perfect!  How about stock with a spicier pizazz?  Spice blend 2 or 6 will definitely give just the right amount of flair.  

Cook your stock:

You really don’t have to worry about measuring here.  Just select a large, heavy-bottomed pot, fill with scraps and your spice blend of choice, top with water until covered, and simmer over medium-low heat (uncovered) 1-2 hours.  Alternately, put all of your ingredients into a crock pot and heat on low overnight.  Once finished, strain out the scraps (into the compost bin they go!), and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 6 months.  

Making delicious food while reducing food waste?  That is definitely something we can get on board with!

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