two hours later, this was soup.
Wow, you guys. I was kind of rolling my eyes at myself for even thinking about doing this. I mean, how much more homemade and crunchy does it get than homemade stock? Next thing you know I’ll be stewing my own tomatoes for sauce. Tomatoes that I grew. Haha, just kidding. We all know I can’t grow anything.
Anyway, I thought it was worth a shot after coming across this recipe. I make so many things involving veggies (um. because I’m a vegetarian, and all) and I always end up with a bunch of scraps that get discarded. Wasting food is one of the things I hate most in life (thanks, Grandmom Fry!) and so this seemed like a great way to use the whole entire vegetable without wasting anything. But because it wasn’t going to have enough onion (or likely carrot) to make a good mirepoix, I wanted a better base, so I searched around and found this recipe. What I ended up making was kind of a combination of the two, and it turned out delicious and made a ton of broth. It also turned out to be a good rainy-day project. This is less a recipe and more like instructions, because this is truly one of those use-whatever-you-have-on-hand kind of things. As long as you get a good base of celery, carrot, onion, and garlic, you really can’t go wrong. So, here goes.
Homemade Vegetable Stock
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Lb. Carrots, roughly chopped into thirds
1 Lb Celery, roughly chopped into thirds
2 Large Yellow or Sweet Onions, quartered
1 Handful of Parsley, chopped
5 Cloves Garlic
1-2 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1/2 Tbsp Thyme
1/2 Tbsp whole Peppercorns
3-4 tsp Sea Salt
24 C (a gallon and a half) Water
Literally any other vegetable or scrap you have laying around, with the possible exception of white potatoes.
I collected scraps of all the veggies I chopped up in a big freezer bag, discarding any obvious gross parts. Everything went in, even random things like eggplant skins. Just be sure to wash the whole vegetable thoroughly before cutting it up here, as opposed to just concentrating on the parts you’re going to be using right away. I was surprised that it only took a few weeks before the bag was full, and then I had no other excuses. It was time to make some broth.
Because I was a little wary of freezer burn (my freezer, much like my oven, is incompetent), I decided to roast the vegetables before simmering them. I heated the oven to 350 and spread the frozen veggies on a baking sheet, preferably one with a lip around the edge to catch any juices. I don’t have one, so I lose. I drizzled them with a little olive oil and into the oven they went, for like 15 minutes. Then I stirred them up and continued roasting for another 15 minutes.
When they were beginning to brown and smell delicious, I took them out and added them to the already-started broth.
While your frozen veggies are roasting, prep the other veggies that you’re using for your base (the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and whatever else you’re using). Heat a big, giant stock pot over medium heat and add the oil. Toss in the veggies as you cut them up, starting with the carrots, celery, and onion, and stirring every so often. Add in the herbs, salt, and pepper. Let them cook down and begin to caramelize, and when all of the fresh veggies you’re using have been added, and the veggies in the oven are done roasting and are in the pot, add the water. Then cover up the pot and bring it to a boil.
When it’s boiling, remove the lid and reduce the heat a little. Let the whole mess simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour or so. About halfway through, test it and see if it needs anything. A little more salt? A smidge more rosemary? Toss it in. It’s your broth, you get to do whatever you want. Now for the fun part.
Strain the broth into a pitcher or large bowl, using a colander or mesh strainer. You might want to strain it again through some cheesecloth, just to get all the little stray pieces of veggies and herbs out. Your finished broth will keep in the fridge for a week or so, or you can freeze it to use later!
frozen veggies going into the oven