Tag Archives: found stock

Found Stock (Waste Not, Want Not)

20 Mar

Hate throwing things out? Me too!

(I am trying to work through a tendency to clutter in all areas of my life, but right now I am referring to the kitchen exclusively).

We are just starting to compost over here – actually, my dad is doing it with lawn clippings and autumn leaves so I can’t claim any credit — and haven’t sorted out how to approach the whole food waste thing. In the meantime, with a freezer bag you can make good use of vegetable trimmings by making a very nice, low sodium stock for soups. No two ever taste the same (and I admit to taking out some of the celery and adding extra carrots or onions for sweetness), but since this is not a professional kitchen – who cares? I like to think of home-cooking more as live theater than a DVD of a movie – full of surprise flavors, new interpretations, flubbed lines and quick recoveries, and the occasional revelatory performance by an understudy. The fact that I don’t have to make it exactly the same every time takes a lot of the pressure right off!

So, here’s an easy and cheap way to reduce your waste stream and have a terrific stock on hand for spontaneous outburst of homemade soup!

Found Vegetable Stock (makes about a quart)

8 to 10 cups of vegetable trimmings (about a gallon* freezer bag full – just keep adding to a freezer bag or other container in your freezer till you have enough!): carrot tops, onion peels, garlic peels, pea pods, celery bits, stems ends of squash, tomato cores. DO NOT include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower.

½ – 1 whole head garlic, broken in half, unpeeled

1 onion, quartered and unpeeled

Enough water to cover

1-1.5 tsp salt per quart of water

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a generous pot. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently for about an hour. Cool to lukewarm, then strain (I used a colander lined with paper towel) into a fridge or freezer-friendly container and store in fridge or freezer.

*This post has been corrected! The original suggested a quart freezer bag and has been corrected to a GALLON freezer bag. Thanks to my sharp-eyed, keen-witted reader Kendra for catching the error!

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