Making Vegetable Stock

Last night I tried a new experiment – a super basic one, but something I’ve never done before. I’ve been collecting the ‘ends’ of vegetables when I cook (when I remember) since the end of July, when I came across instructions for it, planning to do this.

I don’t really use vegetable stock for much (usually I use chicken or beef broth in soups) but there is one particular recipe I do, and I have always bought stock for it, of course. This seemed like it might be a delicious alternative and – hey, I’m throwing away those ends anyway now, I may as well at least try it and see how it works out!

Freshly-strained and still-steaming vegetable stock.

Freshly-strained and still-steaming vegetable stock.

Not so much a ‘recipe’ proper, but here’s the basics.

Collect vegetable ends (whatever bits you aren’t eating or cooking with) in a container in the freezer. (Several cups at least.)
Toss the vegetables in a pan, cover them with water, and add salt. Cover the pan and bring to a boil, then simmer for forty-five minutes to an hour. (The instructions I found said ‘a few hours’. In just over one hour, my first try, there was almost no fluid left in the pot. Something clearly went awry. This looks hearty enough, however.)
Strain the pot and et voila, vegetable stock!

Mine has – in varying quantities – the following assortment:

Some of the bits thrown into the vegetable stockpile pre-freezing.

Some of the bits thrown into the vegetable stockpile pre-freezing.

  • Garlic (stem ends)
  • Carrots (tops and tails)
  • Celery (tops, bottoms, leafy bits)
  • Kale (trimmings, too-tough stalks)
  • Broccoli (leaves, dried out stalks)
  • Brussels sprouts (stems, leaves)
  • Cauliflower (mostly stalk)
  • Parsnips (tops and tails)
  • Onion (a few shreds)
  • Potato skin (only a few scraps)

 

I’ll probably throw in cabbage ‘bones’ and any off-but-not-bad mushrooms in future as well as the above things. (Maybe not onion bits; they make the whole container smell of onion far too much for me.) I got just over 3 cups out of it this time. I think I could have gotten a little more without diminishing the flavour.

Tonight, I will be experimenting with making plomeek (yes, the Vulcan soup; or a Terran approximation, at least) with this stock. It’s my own recipe, and not a new one, but it’ll be the first time with homemade stock. I’m hopeful!

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