Friday, July 6, 2012

#188 Souper Scrap Stock

I've never been a fan of making vegetable stock. It's hard for me to buy a bunch of veggies, boil them to mush, then just toss 'em. Id rather just keep some low sodium bouillon around or buy the cartons from trader joes. Then I read something in VegNews magazine that inspired me. So, in January, I started storing vegetable scraps in a ziplock bag in my freezer. Potato peels (yams too), carrot tops and peels, parsley stems, onion skin (garlic and shallot too) tomato scraps, leeks, celery leaves, mushroom stems, you name it! Anything that would be good in a stock, I saved. Broccoli, beets, and leafy greens tend to overpower so I wouldn't include them if I were you. The easiest way to go about this is to clean the entire vegetable first, then peel it over a colander. Then I toss it all into a freezer bag. I had 3 stuffed bags taking up room in my freezer so I decided that today was the day! Doesn't everybody like hot veggie broth on a hot Summer day?

In addition to the scraps, I added some bay leaves, a few fresh crushed garlic cloves (skins and all) a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, a couple of tablespoons of tamari, and a little sea salt. I brought it to a boil, turned down the heat, and simmered, uncovered, for 2 hours. Then I strained it, using a wooden spoon to squeeze all the liquid from the veggies.  I simmered the strained stock down a bit to concentrate the flavor even more.  Once it cools, I will portion it out and freeze it for future use.

I seemed to be saving about a gallon sized bag per month.  The move put a halt on things but now that the kitchen is all put together I can see doing this every other month.  3 bags was a bit much to work with but I think 2 will be perfect. This just makes so much sense! Using what was once waste, to create a delicious base for my beloved soups! I'll being doing this for the rest of my life, and I hope you will try it too!

I ended up with 20 cups!! Pretty stoked :)

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