DIY: Vegetable Stock March 1, 2016
Did you know that vegetable stock, a common ingredient in soups, sauces, and plenty of other delicious dishes, can be made right in your own kitchen?
Next time you’re chopping up some veggies, think twice before dumping the odds and ends of your ingredients in the trash. Instead, start a stash of extra trimmings and use them to make your own stock! If you’re buying veggies specifically for this project, you’ll need:
- 1 to 2 onions
- 2 to 3 carrots
- 3 to 4 celery stalks
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Optional Extras: leeks (especially the green parts), fennel, tomatoes, mushrooms, mushroom stems, parsnips
- Gather Vegetables and Herbs: Onions, carrots, and celery give stock a great base flavor, and you can round these out with any of the other vegetables listed above.
- Roughly Chop All The Vegetables:Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables and give them a rough chop. Throw all the vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them plus a few extra inches of water. Add the herbs.
- Cover with Water and Simmer: Cover the vegetables with enough water that you can easily stir them in the pot. Less water means that your stock will be more concentrated; more water makes a lighter-flavored stock. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot and a few wisps of steam on the surface, turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Cook for One Hour (60 minutes): This isn’t an exact science, but one hour is generally enough time to infuse the water with vegetable goodness. Give it a stir every now and again to circulate the vegetables.
- Strain and Store: Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour the stock through. Divide the stock into storage containers, cool completely, and then freeze.
Cheesecloth or coffee filters (for straining)
Luckily, our Registered Dietitian Rebecca is always on hand to offer up tips and tricks on these recipes. When making your own vegetable stock, she encourages you to:
- Avoid stirring the pot which makes the stock cloudy!
- Always peel the carrots – leaving the skins on will make the stock bitter.
And, if you want to make chicken or beef stock instead, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. This helps extract the calcium from the meat bones and bring it into your stock!
Now that you know how to make stock, it’s time for soup! We’ve got deliciously simple recipes for purple sweet potato soup, red tomato paprika soup, yellow squash curry soup, and green zucchini parsley soup.