Whether you’re whipping up a soup, stew, sauce or risotto, there is nothing that beats having your own homemade vegetable stock on hand. With a little advance planning and some up-cycling of unused portions of vegetables, you can create a nutrient-rich base for use in any stock. So instead of tossing away those carrot root ends or left over Brussels sprouts, save these veggie bits and pieces in a container or bag and store for future use in the freezer. This no-nonsense recipe is perfect for getting a jump on your upcoming entertaining and holiday gatherings!
4 celery stalks
1/2 fennel bulb
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 bouquet fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 tablespoons of olive oil
SUGGESTIONS FOR UP-CYCLED INGREDIENTS
leeks – particularly the green portions
Brussels sprouts – leaves and bulbs
fennel – including the feathery leaves
carrots – root ends and tips
Thoroughly wash all of the fresh and up-cycled vegetables. Rough chop, as necessary.
Using a large enameled stockpot, mix the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Over a low heat, allow the vegetables to sweat (reduce) for approximately 10-15 minutes. This process softens the vegetables and also brings forth the flavors.
Add enough water to entirely cover the vegetables, noting that additional water levels will dilute the flavors. Lay the herbs on top of the water and cover with a lid. Bring the mixture up to a slow boil then reduce your heat to low and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste test for readiness.
Place the stockpot on a stable and heat resistant surface and remove all of the vegetables and herbs with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer (preferably a chinois strainer) over a large bowl and pour the liquid through. For a clearer consistency, place a sheet of cheesecloth over the strainer and then pour the stock through.
Divide the stock into airtight storage containers and allow to completely cool before refrigerating or freezing. Store the stock in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Lastly, leaving nothing to waste, the cooked vegetable mixture makes for a healthy and tasty treat for your canine companion!