Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vegetable Stock: Take 2

In honor of Earth Day (April 22), Favorite Recipes from the Mouse House is offering a series of recipes incorporating food that is usually discarded. I'm starting by recycling my recipe for vegetable stock originally published on Saturday, March 6, 2010.

Vegetable Stock

1. Collect clean peelings, ends, and other pieces of vegetables that you usually discard or compost in a covered container in the freezer. I use peelings from potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic; the pieces you cut off from celery, leeks, and scallions; the end bits from onions, carrots, parsnips, and garlic. Basically any part of a vegetable that I might use in a soup or a salad gets saved in the freezer until I have approximately 2 cups of ‘stuff’ for my stock.

2. During the good weather when I compost most of my fruit and vegetable waste, I may not have a stash of vegetable peelings in the freezer. If I want to make a soup with summer vegetables, I’ll prepare all the vegetables I plan to use in my soup, store them in the refrigerator for a day and use the peelings, ends, and other bits to make stock.

3. Fill a big pot with water and add the vegetables. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for an hour or so. The liquid will be a light amber color.

3. I use a combination of a ladle and a slotted spoon to transfer the stock to one bowl (or another pot) and the vegetable matter to a second bowl. This takes a bit of time and, as I get close to the bottom of the pot, I pour the last bit of liquid through a fine mesh sieve (or colander) into the bowl holding the rest of the stock.

4. If I am freezing the stock for future use, I measure out either 1 or 2 cups at a time and place in a Tupperware or RubberMade container, or a freezer bag, marking the quantity on the container.

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