I love to be able to challenge myself to use every bit of food I buy because it forces you to be creative and you sometimes get unexpected results. Not to mention, when you try to buy mostly organic food, things get expensive.
My favourite thing about this soup stock is that it is easy to make and it lets you squeeze every little bit of nutrition out of your vegetables and has absolutely unexpected ingredients like store bought soup stock can. The ONLY tricky thing about this stock, is remembering to put aside your scrap veggies (instead of composting or discarding them).
If you want to make stock, you'll just need a few things:
- a good amount of 'scrap' veggies - the odds and ends of your choppings
- a large soup pot
- a ladle
- a wooden spoon or similar for stirring
- several mason jars, or anything to store your stock in
Step 1: Collect Your Veggie 'tops and Tails'
Here's the planning part - you need to remember to take all the carrot tops, celery stalks, mushroom bits, broccoli stalks, potato peels, beet tails, garlic and onion skins, and any other veggies you cut up during the week and save them. I like to aim to fill at least half of my pot with odds and ends of veggies.
The trick here is, you don't want your veggies to go bad before you use them. As long as there is no (or very little moisture) they will keep well on your counter or fridge for a week. Since my house goes through lots of veggies every week, there is usually enough to make a stock before anything goes bad. However, if you aren't sure, it is best to make a bag in your freezer where you can add your veggies to and then pull them out when you're ready to make your stock.
- Don't add in wet veggies like tomatoes, or any fruits like lemon to your veggie pile. These just don't work very well in a stock, and they also could contribute to adding moisture to the other vegetables which might result in mold.
- You can make your stock with any amount of veggies but a nice variety and bigger batch helps save you time gives you a great tasting stock.
Step 2: Making Your Stock
Making the stock is easy, and will take you about 10 minutes once you've gathered all your veggies. Here's how to do it:
- Add your 'scrap' veggies to your stock pot
- Fill with cold water
- Put on your stove top on high heat
- Allow to come to a boil, allowing to boil for 5 minutes, stirring often
- Turn stove off and let cool on the burner
- Do not add salt, or any seasonings. Wait until you are using your stock to make soups before you worry about adding these seasonings. You don't want your soup ending up too salty.
Step 3: Storing Your Stock
I like to keep my stock in mason jars because it gives me a pre-measured amount of stock when I need it.
- So, once the stock is cooled you can pour your fresh stock from the pot into jars by using a ladle (which helps avoid the larger pieces).
- I also put a cheese cloth over the mouth of the jar to catch any small pieces.
- Seal with a lid and repeat with new jar until finished.
- Your soup stock will keep well in the fridge for about 4-5 days.
- If you don't have plans to make soup soon then it will keep beautifully in the freezer until you're ready for it.