I figured that so long as I was trying to make chicken stock, and so long as I had some scraps and spare vegetables from other recipes, and a fridge drawer full of some veggies I wouldn’t necessarily be using quickly (the place where my boyfriend works trades goods with a local farmer, so he bought me what they got in trade), I may as well try my hand at making some vegetable stock. 

(I still have a drawer with a large bag of beets and some patty pan squashes and a zucchini that I could probably use as an assault weapon. Seeking suggestions.)

Some tips for making veggie stock that I got from both this recipe and a good friend: 

  • don’t use carrot tops (they make it bitter)
  • beets will give it a weird color
  • don’t salt your stock (since you don’t know the salt levels of what recipes you’re using it in might call for)
  • only simmer your stock for 120 mins (2 hours) tops, as the stock doesn’t have collagen in it that needs to develop like a meat stock

And generally, your recipe for this is gonna vary heavily, depending on whatever you have available. I used leeks and leftover leek ends, some spare carrots, shallots, parmesan rinds, peppercorns, garlic, kale, and a patty pan squash.  Honestly, just save your veggie scraps from whatever you might’ve been making, and use those. 

Also? This is gonna make a lot. I used half of that big container (six cups) in an upcoming recipe. I’m gonna have enough for a damn long time. 

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients

  • whatever vegetable scraps/leftover vegetables from other recipes you might have on hand (see above for what all I used this time, and for what not to use)
  • parmesan rinds (seriously, these add a great flavor)
  • bay leaf
  • small handful of peppercorns
  • peeled garlic cloves, maybe a shallot
  • water
  • (original recipe recommends herbs of choice and sea salt, honestly, you don’t need much more than the above)

In a large pot, take your vegetables/vegetable scraps, parmesan rinds, bay leaf, peppercorns, peeled garlic cloves and shallot, and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer, and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, until the stock looks similar to picture 3. Take a slotted spoon, scoop the boiled veggies out, and then run the soup through a strainer, to catch whatever may have been missed by the slotted spoon. 

Put the stock in a storage container, and depending on what you’re going to do with it, either use immediately, toss in the fridge for a few days, or store in the freezer for long term use. 

Advertisements

This broth is probably going to come into heavy rotation, as it is actually incredibly cheap and easy to make.  You can typically find parmesan rinds either at your grocery’s cheese counter (a store near me sells them for $2/lb, and occasionally you may be able to get them for free), or you can save them yourself from blocks of parmesan that you use.  The rest of the recipe, you should have on hand (water, onion, garlic).

The result is a garlicky cheesy broth that will make a wonderful soup base.  I’m not sure what to pair it with for a soup just yet (any suggestions, followers? not that big of the white bean/kale combo in the link to the original), but you can definitely just have it plain and have it be wonderful.

Parmesan Broth

Ingredients

  • .5 lbs (8 oz) parmesan cheese rinds (I had closer to .75 lbs between the two groupings I bought)
  • 6 c water
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for an hour.  By the end of the hour, the broth should be a yellowish color as seen in pic 2.  Run the soup through a strainer, until you have a clear liquid that resembles pic 3. You can use it right away in a soup, store it, or just straight up sip it, whatever you want.  You now have a godly cheesy garlicky broth.  Do not use it idly.