Eat

How To: Vegetable Stock from Scraps

Recently, I started making my own vegetable stock. I heard someone on the radio say that homemade stock is the key to a delicious soup. Plus, I am trying to waste less food. I find things like broccoli stems, greens, the bottom of celery, the tops of peppers and a whole heap of other edibles get thrown away in households without composts. If you live in the middle of a city and you are not feeding your vegetable scraps to the soil you might as well feed them to yourself.

Like baking bread or canning, preparing stock from scratch is a lovely ritual that you can incorporate into your regular routine. When cooking other meals I save all my scraps in a large container. Once the container is full, I chop everything up, chuck it in a pot and make stock to use throughout the week. If I’m not making a soup or stew that week I will add it to curries or pasta dishes for extra flavour. It should keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Based on my experience, the best stock is not boiled. Normally, I simmer mine for about twenty minutes. However, the cook time can vary depending on what scraps you have on hand, how fresh they are, your chopping method, etc. Make sure to taste at regular intervals. If you chop up the vegetables into smaller pieces and start with cold water you will be able to draw out more flavour. Don’t chop ahead of time because your vegetables will rot quickly. Chop them right before you make the stock. Be generous with salt. Don’t use tomatoes if you want your stock to be clear. Personally, I avoid potatoes because they make the stock starchy. Be sure to sauté your onion, carrot and celery first!

If you want to get the most nutritional value out of your stock I recommend checking out this video which provides a bit of insight into which vegetables are not completely depleted of nutrients when boiled. Enjoy your soup!

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large ribs celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 6.5 cups chopped vegetable scraps
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • spices
  • salt

Instructions:

  1. Finely chop all your vegetables.
  2. Sauté onion, celery, carrot and dried spices in olive oil until slightly browned. Salt generously.
  3. Add the rest of the vegetable to the pot. Salt generously.
  4. Add water.
  5. Bring to a boil and turn down heat immediately.
  6. Simmer until desired flavour is reached.