Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Vegetable Stock

One of the perks of this new vegetarian handwritten cookbook (The Enchanted Broccoli Forest) is that it shows me some tricks that I didn't know already.  I've been saving up vegetable scraps for a while with the intention of learning how to make vegetable stock.  I finally had the opportunity to experiment over the weekend.

Apparently all you need to do is dump the scraps in some water, then boil for several hours to get the flavor out.  Simply strain out the chunks of vegetables at the end, and voila!  Vegetable stock!

Mine was a little celery heavy, since I tend to have a lot of dishes that use celery and therefore lots of celery scraps.

Here are the bags of frozen vegetable scraps from my freezer:

I also cut an onion in half, with the skin on, and placed that in the pot.  The skin on the onion is supposed to give the broth a nice color.  I learned that trick when I made chicken stock for soup a few weeks ago, using a recipe I found on Epicurious.com

Here are all my ingredients in the pot.  Notice that the chunks are big.  Since you are going to be straining them out of the stock anyhow, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time chopping and dicing.  This is a mixture of carrot peels and the parts of the celery that you usually chop off.  If you are planning on eating this, and you are, you should take the time to make sure these scraps are clean (duh).

Looks yummy, right?  Not quite so yummy after it simmered for a couple hours.
The last part is kind of yucky....you strain out the chunks of wilted vegetables.  To make sure you get the most out of your stock and your garbage can doesn't end up being filled with drippy wet vegetables, you squeeze them out.

Here is the last picture.  A pan full of squished overcooked vegetables, and several containers of low effort, zero fat, vegetable broth.  With a very reasonable amount of salt, that I added myself.  Hows that for awesome!

Yum.  This is a win.  I have already started a new bag of vegetable scraps.

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