Nothing can make a family happier like a vegetable stock kept in the fridge all ready to use on a chilly winter evening. Last night I got a bit cold on my way back to work, and my first thought was hot soup ready on the table. I thought to myself – Why not making that happen?
Too bad my husband was working late, but I also remembered I have some vegetables leftovers from the previous day, so I decided to take a courageous step. I was dying to make a vegetable stock.
I knew I could easily get it from the closest grocery store, but I just didn’t want to. The grocery stocks are very processed and unhealthy. They are basically powders packed with salt and flavors.
And a perfect homemade soup requires a perfect homemade stock. I want to share a little secret with you. You don’t even have to bother buying vegetables sometimes. That’s exactly what I did last night. But, of course, I had my leftovers prepared in the fridge, and some people tend to keep these in the freezer for the single purpose of making vegetables stock. I ended up using my stock for the prefect soup and we had a lovely time with my family.
There are various ways to prepare this vegetable stock, so feel free to change whatever you need to according to your taste. The stock practically cooks itself, but it is important to spend a couple of minutes sautéing the vegetables.
In terms of the cutting process, you don’t have to cut the vegetables into large pieces, because you also need the maximum flavor you can get form them with the help of the boiling water. Furthermore, it also bad to overboard and mince the vegetables. Balance is crucial here. Once prepared, your vegetable stock can be kept in the fridge for three days and up to 3 months in the freezer.
What can you put in the pot?
As I discovered earlier in the text, you don’t need the best vegetables in the world to prepare a stock. The truth is that you can use scraps and ends from leftover vegetables that you have in the fridge at the moment.
For instance, asparagus stalks are really good for freezing. You certainly cut the hard ends and throw them away, so now is a good time to save some space in the freezer and reconsider things. Other good leftovers are garlic and onion skins, but be careful not to put something that might give you bitter taste.
Feel free to use vegetables such as celery, onion, carrot, garlic, mushroom, peppercorn and some herbs as well, including thyme or parsley. Some special ingredients might include leek, sweet potato, pumpkin, or corn cobs, depending on your desires for sweet taste. If you want to make an Asian soup, you will certainly need to add some of the following: turmeric, ginger, coriander, star anis, or lemongrass.
Despite all the choice you have, there are certain vegetables that you should never put. Those are cabbage, broccoli because of their sour taste when simmered for a long time, as well as purple carrot and beetroot because of their strong color.
Why is it so good?
Using vegetables will overpower you with minerals and phytonutrients. You will also end up detoxified from the anti-inflammatory food such as ginger and garlic. The antiviral herbs will help you in getting rid of toxins and boost your whole metabolism.
How To Make Homemade Vegetable Stock
You will need 15 minutes to prepare for this meal, whereas around 60 minutes to cook it. That gives a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes to make your life better!
- 2 medium carrots chopped into 1-inch bits;
- 6 button mushrooms, quartered or halved (depends on their size);
- 4 gloves of garlic (peeled/unpeeled) cut into half (optional);
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped;
- 1 bay leaf;
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped into 1-inch bits;
- 1-inch know of ginger, cut into strips;
- 1 tsp fried rosemary (or thyme)
- 1 tsp salt;
- 1 tsp olive oil;
- 1 tsp peppercorns;
- 5 allspice corns, slightly crushed;
- 10-12 cups water.
1. Roughly chop the vegetables: this means that you need to wash them really well, but it is not necessary to peel them, as we mentioned above. Feel free to leave the onion skin as well!
2. Prepare a big pot to support all your vegetables. Heat the oil and add the salt and onion first. Sauté and wait for the onions to get a golden-brown color at their edges.
3. Next, add the garlic and ginger, and sauté once again for about a minute or two.
4. Add the rosemary, bay leaf, peppercorn, carrots, mushrooms, all-spice, and celery and sauté again. Stir every 3-5 minutes.
5. At this point, you are ready to add the water and start the simmering process. It is important to add the perfect amount of water. Some people prefer less water than usual. This only means that their stock will be a bit more concentrated with a lot of flavor. If you add more water the stock will be lightly-flavored.
6. As soon as you notice bubbling on the edges of the pot, it means that the boiling point is reached, and you need to turn the heat down to medium-low (simmer).
7. Leave the pot to simmer for one hour without stirring or doing anything.
8. One hour later, take the pot off the heat and remove the vegetables using a slotted spoon. You can also use a cheese cloth or coffee filters if needed.
9. Pour the stock into containers and cool it before freezing.
Your stock is ready to use immediately or ready to put in the freezer! It is up to you when to use it, but you can always count on it to help you in making the best soup or broth for your family or friends.