Nothing is more satisfying than a steaming bowl of soup made with homemade vegetable stock. Easy to make – Just chop your leftover veggies and simmer!
I never feel more accomplished than when I make vegetable stock. Vegetable stock is ridiculously simple; yet it’s the joy of making this very tasty base out of nothing gives me so much satisfaction.
A while back I shared this Food 52 Vegetable Bouillon article on my Facebook page as a way to bookmark it for later.
When I see good shit online I like to share it with my readers immediately in the hopes someone will send me a jar or a batch of something. I keep hope alive. When I got around to reading the article I was taken to a link which described how to make vegetable stock.
I don’t make much vegetable stock, preferring the ease of purchasing ready-made organic options.
I’m a busy mom-type, you. I am also an idiot.
Homemade vegetable stock beats the G-string panties out of anything ready-made. It’s actually simpler than hauling your ass to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.
Not every veggie will work in stock, though. Like you can’t use beets or potatoes because it changes the color of your stock; but other than that – You are free to use anything.
And not only are you saving money, you’re no longer tossing perfectly edible food.
I’m notorious in the waste department. You know how you use half an onion and then wrap the other half in plastic wrap or in a Ziploc bag? Then you forget about it and when you’re cleaning your fridge 3 months later you find this shriveled piece of onion? I do that.
Now you can toss that onion half you think you may use later (but not really) inside a gallon sized Ziploc bag and toss it in the freezer. You can do this through the week.
That half bunch of cilantro? Toss it in the bag!
Those onion peels you planned to throw out? Toss ‘em in the bag!
Carrot nubbins? Get in there!
Those 4 cloves of garlic? That too! Don’t even peel them!
OMG – That corn that’s been in the crisper for three weeks – Chop it up, toss it in the bag. Toss in the corn husks too!
Once you have a bag full of ingredients simmer the vegetables in salted water – Perhaps some peppercorns (I’m obsessed with red peppercorns), and some dried herbs for at least two hours. I’ve allowed my stock to simmer for about four. Mostly because I was doing other things and forgot about it.
Once your stock is ready, strain it and squeeze those solids. Portion it out in half quart containers and freeze.
Simple. And it took, what – Almost no effort on your part with veggies you planned on throwing away, or allowing to go moldy anyway.
The best part about homemade vegetable stock is its versatility. You can truly add almost anything and no stock is ever the same in both color and flavor.
My stocks tend to be onion, garlic, and cilantro heavy because I cook with these ingredients most. You can make your own combination of ingredients. There is no right or wrong here and that’s the fun part. Maybe you like the taste of green peppers, carrots, and leeks. Go heavy on those. Make this stock your own.
Use vegetable stock as a super flavorful complex base for your soups, or beans, or rice pilafs – Use it on anything listing vegetable stock. Trust me when I say it will not only elevate your cooking game, but the satisfaction you get from making something so delicious out of virtually nothing will make your day.
Homemade Vegetable Stock
- Assorted veggies – Onion skins, garlic skins, whole onions, whole heads of garlic, cilantro, leeks, carrots, parmesan rinds, corn cobs - Enough to fill a 1 gallon Ziploc bag
- Assorted dried herbs and peppercorn - 2-3 tablespoons
- Salt - 3-4 tablespoons
- Enough water to fill an 8 quart pot
In an 8 quart pot, combine the assorted vegetables, herbs, salt, and water. Bring to a rolling boil over medium/high heat. Reduce the heat to slow and allow the contents to simmer for at least 2 hours, preferably 4.
Remove stock from heat and immediate strain into a large pot. Squeeze the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Portion stock in freezer safe containers and place in the freezer until ready to use.
Makes about 4 quarts of stock.