If you're going to make soup you are going to need stock. You can buy stock for inflated prices or you can make stock yourself with the thing you have laying around the house for a fraction of the cost.
If you are like we are, you throw away tons of veggies that are nearly spoiled, lettuce leaves on the outside of the head of lettuce, and carrot tops and broccoli stems. Instead these could be turned into a nutritious broth perfect for the cold and flu season with minimal effort.
Step 1: Selecting the Vegetables
The vegetables is easy, use whatever you have on hand, and try to use verity. I keep a small container in the fridge and toss in vegetable scraps, while making dinners, or right after I’m done washing the produce I bring home from the store.
Today I’m using:
1 onion cut into quarters
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups leafy centers and tops of celery
3 Carrots peeled with green tops
1 bunch Beet Greens
2 tops and bottoms from golden beets
3 cups Wilted outer romaine leaves
3 broccoli stems
1/2 green bell pepper
An 8oz container of mushrooms that was running out of life (If you have no mushrooms going bad, mushroom stems work great)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
9 cups of water
Peel whatever has an outer peel, like beets and carrots.
Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes that will break down in your stock.
Avoid too many beets or beet stems unless you want purple stock.
Step 2: Throw Everything Into the Stock Pot
Throw everything into the stock pot and cook on medium for about 4 hours. It can cook longer, or shorter if you are happy with the flavor you've developed.
Add Water and seasoning.
Taste after a few hours and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Don't allow the stock to come to a rolling boil in order to ensure you don't have excess evaporation
Step 3: Stain
Once the stock has achieved a desired flavor remove from heat and allow to cool. This can be done in the refrigerator, or on the stove top.
After the stock has cooled strain remove all of the solid vegetables. (This is why the vegetables are in larger pieces.)
Store in the freezer or refrigerator for future uses.
When freezing use a measuring cup to scoop into freezer bag. Mark how many cups you have on the front of the bag and when the stock was made so you always have the correct amount of stock for your recipes.
Freezer bags can be stored lying down to maximize freezer space.
Some mason jars are freezer safe.
Mason jars of stock store well in the refrigerator.