Vegetable Stock RecipeWritten by CMP on November 02, 2008
Once the cold weather starts to set in here in the northeast, my cooking habit turns toward soups and stews. As much as I enjoy doing as much from scratch as possible, I rarely have the leftover animal bones required to make beef or chicken stock.
A much easier way to prepare homemade stock is to go the veggie route. I find that it's much easier to collect save the stems, peels, tops and bottoms of various vegetables than it is to keep some chicken bones laying around. Every time I chop or peel a vegetable, the bit I'd usually toss in the trash (or compost heap, if I had one), I simply add to a ziploc bag in the fridge. After about a week or two, I have enough to make a richly flavored stock.
The specifics and quantity here are tricky. You'll need, at least, an amount equal to a 2 gallon ziploc back that is half full. What I find works best are the raw (uncooked) remains of:
- Sweet Peppers
- Fresh Herbs
Stay away from eggplant as it tends to be too bitter. If you use Celery or Cabbage, use it sparingly as their flavors will dominate the stock.
Place your vegetable debris into a large stock pot and add water to cover by at least two inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are very soft.
Drain the resulting stock away from the vegetables using a colander and a large bowl. Use immediately or freeze for up to four weeks.