Making vegetable stock from scraps is unbelievably easy — I can’t believe it took me so long to try!
And not only is it easy, but for all intents and purposes, it is also free (you’re using food you’d be getting rid of anyway)! What a great way to be more self-reliant, to replace a store-bought staple with a homemade version using local foods, and to reuse scraps before being composted! Hooray for living more frugally and sustainably! What’s not to love?!
To start, get a gallon ziplock bag, and whenever you have vegetable scraps around, toss ‘em in and freeze the bag.
Focus on foods like carrot peels and greens, celery that’s gone a bit limp, potato peels, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, bell peppers, and garlic or onion skins. You’ll probably want to avoid vegetables that can turn bitter like turnips, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Other vegetables will impart more specific flavors and colors like beets, asparagus, pea pods, parsnips, and fennel so go easy with them unless you’re looking for a specific flavor (note: I did have some beet greens in the batch I’m sharing with you here and I still thought it was wonderful).
Once you have a gallon bag filled with scraps, empty them into a large pot and cover them with water. Add a few bay leaves, garlic cloves, and other herbs like thyme for additional flavor. I also felt my scrap mixture was a little light on carrots so I chopped a few of these to add to the mix.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then let simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the stock to cool down a bit before straining out the vegetables.
Pour the stock into containers to use within a week, or to freeze for later use.
Enjoy your stock for use in soups, lentils, or anywhere else a vegetable stock is needed!
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