Despite not thinking twice about making a fresh stock from a leftover roasted chicken, doing the same thing with vegetables isn’t something that I have traditionally been in the habit of. However, it is a really great way to improve soups and dishes with pure, nutrient dense ingredients. The best thing is, is that making a fresh vegetable stock is a simple way to use up leftovers and scraps and so needn’t be another expense in the kitchen to worry about. The following recipe is more of a guide, so adjust according to what ingredients you have. Think outside the box a little bit -the tops of leeks are perfect for stocks, and in this recipe I also used the tops from carrots and broccoli. Stocks are one of those foods that you can just assemble in a few minutes and then leave simmering away. If you have a slow cooker, then just make the stock in there, closing whether to leave it on the high or low setting based on how long you’ll be away. Vegetable stocks take much less time than when using meat carcasses, so there’s no need to have a pan cooking overnight. Try making at the same time as roasting vegetables, or some other meal prep -you can stick the peelings and scraps straight in to the pan and leave them all to cook together, stress free. I prefer to add my salt at the end so that I can judge the taste better, but you can even leave the stock unsalted if you wish. Let me know if you have a go at making your own stock and how you used it! I’ll be making a fennel and apple soup today.
- ½ onion, skin on
- 3 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed by flat edge of a knife
- 3 medium carrots (with tops)
- 3 sticks celery
- 1 leek (just use the dark green tops and save the rest for other recipes)
- Any other vegetable scraps that you have to hand
- Herbs: try thyme, rosemary or coriander
- Simply pop all the ingredients into a wide pan, just cover with cold water and bring to boil.
- Allow the stock to simmer for 50 minutes and then add salt and any other desired seasonings to taste. Transfer into a glass bottle and refrigerate for up to five days, or pour into ice cube trays and freeze.