A few weeks ago, you might have read my article about how to make your own vegetable bouillon. Well one of the side benefits is that you also get this awesome vegetable stock in the process! Here I’m going to show you step by step, how to make flavorful and healthy vegetable stock from various vegetable scraps you might already have waiting for you. I like to keep a perpetual plastic bag in my freezer that I gradually fill up over time. I like to put things in there that are considered the ugly parts, but all in all are still good food.
This includes things like the onion paper, roots, bruised pieces, and what I affectionately call the “butts”. Things like the tips of carrots you chop off only because they’re ugly, or perhaps the wider and white end of the celery that you cut off and don’t use. I also save the big cores from cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage that are otherwise too tough to eat normally. These parts of the vegetables are still flavorful and nutritious albeit a bit on the homely side. Waste not want not! Let’s use those parts and help create even more delicious Paleo dishes to help keep you on track!
One thing I want to mention is that the term “vegetable stock” and “vegetable broth” has had much debate. The famed chef Alton Brown says in his book I’m Just Here for the Foodthat
The problem with this is that when you look through websites and cookbooks most of them call it vegetable stock. This can be downright confusing! One thing I’ve personally noticed is that stock tends to have no salt added, whereas broth does.
First as you can see, I don’t exactly measure out a precise amount of vegetables for my stock. I just use whatever is in my bag because I typically have a wide variety on hand. However for you folks who might not have this frozen bag of convenience at your beckon call, I will also include a more precise measurement in case you’re starting from square one. The best types of vegetables for vegetable stock include celery, tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, fennel, leeks, and cabbage. The types of herbs and spices that hold up well to the heat and long cooking time are things like cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. These aren’t quite as delicate as other types, and they’re not as prone to become bitter or get an off taste with cooking. Also I have found that lemon is an excellent flavor enhancer to stock and is one of my favorite secrete weapons in the kitchen.
Vegetable Stock – Step One
Gather up your bag of random vegetables. If you don’t have this, then use 4 chopped onions, 4 carrots, head of garlic, 4 ribs celery, 1 oz of sun dried tomatoes, and one bunch of fresh parsley, and more herbs listed in the below recipe. The paper and all can be used for making flavorful and nutritious vegetable stock!
Vegetable Stock – Step Two
Place all of your vegetables in a large pot, and fill with enough filtered water to cover the top of the vegetables by one inch. I like to keep what I call a “kitchen sock” that is only used for making broths and stocks. It’s a clean cotton sock that I put loose herbs into so I don’t have to fish them out later or clog up my strainer. You can use a clean sock that has lost its match, or just use a muslin tea bag and reuse it if you can. If you want to use a sock, just tie the end or use the lid of the pot to hold it up so it doesn’t spill out. You can add a lemon that is halved, 2 bay leaves, 8 pepper corns, 1/4 a teaspoon of rosemary and 1/4 a teaspoon of thyme.
Vegetable Stock – Step Three
Simmer the vegetable stock mixture until all of the vegetables are quite soft. You can scoop them out with a slotted spoon and save them to make vegetable bouillon. This process is quite easy and is free healthy flavoring for cooking!
Vegetable Stock – Step Four
Now you’re ready to reap your rewards! You can then either ladle the stock through a strainer and into jars, or have somebody help you pour out the mixture through a strainer into jars. It’s kind of difficult to pour this much liquid without some major spills. Notice the amount of moisture on my little wooden table!
You can store this in your refrigerator for several weeks especially if you’ve added the lemon. Mine has never lasted longer than that simply because I eat it up! Some people prefer to add salt to taste, but I like to keep mine salt-free simply because I like to add my vegetable stock to so many recipes for cooking that might already have salt. I find it’s easier to add salt later, than to fix an overly salty meal.
Vegetable Stock Recipe
PrintVegetable Stock Author: Stephanie Stuart Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 35 minsIngredients
- 4 onions, quartered- keep paper
- 4 carrots, cut lengthwise
- 4 ribs celery
- head of garlic, divided into cloves keep paper
- bunch fresh parsley
- 1 oz sun dried tomatoes
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 peppercorns
- ¼ tsp rosemary
- ¼ tsp thyme
- Place vegetables into stock pot and cover with filtered water by one inch
- Simmer until vegetables are quite soft – reserve vegetables for bouillon recipe if desired
- Strain into jars, bags, or ice cube trays for storage.
Some Tips and Tricks for Vegetable Stock Storage
- Large quantity storage: Freeze baggies full to be used in large quantities like in soups or stews for later.
- Single serving storage: Partitioning the vegetable stock into ice cube trays is one of my favorites. I use one or two vegetable stock cubes to make a flavorful saute for vegetables, or perhaps add to a meat dish that got a little too dry.
- Long term storage: If you freeze your jars of vegetable stock, make sure to leave about an inch of air space at the top. This will allow the vegetable stock to expand as it freezes so it won’t break your jar. Better to have too much air space than a broken jar!
Vegetable Stock Recipe Shopping List
I try to find the best quality, best price, and the closest size to what is reflected in my recipes. This is not guaranteed though, as I can’t possibly scan all of the Amazon products and they change daily. Also, sometimes the amount in the recipe just isn’t a practical amount to buy. I only list items that I personally would feed to my own family. I am an affiliate of the below items, but by clicking on my links it only helps my family out a little and absolutely costs you nothing extra!
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