December 7, 2008

Veggie Stock

I promised a stock recipe, and I have finally delivered.  Sorry for the absence, however I have been rather busy with three jobs.  Here's to hoping things start to settle back down soon!


Considering that the colder months of the year have arrived, soups and stews are going to be making appearances on many a supper table.  The foundation for many a good warm up supper is a hearty stock.  Chicken stock, beef stock, seafood stock (don't expect to find that one on this blog) and of course veggie stock.  And really, what could be easier, healthy, or cheaper than to make your own veggie stock.  Well, if you eat veggies on a semi regular basis, and you can bring a pot of water to a boil, you can make veggie stock.  

The best thing about the recipe that I use, is that it's not much of a recipe, and you're using things you would normally just throw into your kitchen garbage or compost bin.  And all you need is a big pot, some water, and a large Ziploc bag. 

So, lets get started.

Vegetable Stock

The very first thing you need to do, is start keeping a large re-sealable bag in the freezer.  From now on, every time you prepare some veggies for your meals and snacks, place all the trimmings, peels, and guts into this bag.  When it's full, you're ready to make stock.

Empty frozen veggie bits into a stock pot.  Add: 1-2 bay leaves, 2-3 cloves of garlic (don't bother peeling), a pinch of salt, and around 10 whole pepper kernels. 

Next add 8 cups of water, and make note of where the water level is.  You'll need to know this for later.  I usually just stick a plastic spoon in, and note where it is on there.  Add another 4 cups of water.  Bring the whole mess to a simmer and leave uncovered.

When about 4 cups of water has evaporated - this is why you took note of the water level before - add another 4 cups in, and again simmer down to 8 cups in the pot.  Do this whole thing one more time.  It seems tedious, but it improves the flavour, which is all that one really wants.  Besides, it's not much work, and it makes the house smell like yummy stock.

After the final reduction, allow stock to cool, strain out solids, and pour into containers.  The used veggie trimmings can now be tossed in your compost or garbage, and the stock can be refrigerated and enjoyed.

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