After reading Faye’s excellent post about making vegetable stock on her blog Sustaining Life, I was inspired to attempt it myself. And just in time too: I’ve made soup a couple of times this fall already and using plain water definitely leaves something to be desired.
I’ve never been a fan of purchasing stock from the store because it seems like a lot of packaging, either an unrecyclable carton or multiple cans. A couple of people have recommended bouillon cubes, and I agree those would probably be a good option. However, I like the idea of using the scraps of all the produce I’ve already bought. It’s like making something out of nothing!
As Faye advised, I stored my scraps in a plastic bag in the freezer. It took me about a month to collect enough to fill the bag. Here’s the collection I ended up with:
I followed Faye’s recipe, first seasoning and roasting the scraps in the oven, them simmering them in water for a little over an hour.
I could tell it was working because my apartment started to smell like delicious soup. After letting the stock cool, I removed the big vegetable chunks with tongs and then poured the remainder through a strainer.
The finished stock is a lovely golden brown and has an oh-so-slightly sweet flavor, probably due to the apple cores. My only puzzlement with the process is that I put in 8 or 9 cups of water and ended up with only 5 cups of stock. One culprit may be the fact that the lid to my stock pot has steam-release holes in it. The stock also came out a little more oily than I expected, which I’ll take as a lesson to lighten up on the olive oil during the roasting step. (I eyeballed it instead of measuring—a classic blunder. Come to think of it, I eyeballed the water amount too…)
The whole process was very easy and didn’t make a mess. Now I have tasty stock to use for making soup, rice, or anything else that could use a flavor boost instead of plain water, and I didn’t use anything other than scraps I would have thrown away. I definitely plan to continue collecting scraps for my next batch!
If you want to try it yourself, be sure to check out Faye’s post for the specific recipe and a helpful list of what veggies not to include in stock.
Have you ever made your own vegetable stock? How cool is it to make food out of [clean, edible] garbage??