Although I love making soup, it’s always bothered me that making stock feels so wasteful. As the child of one of the world’s thriftiest people (love you, mom!), the idea of tossing a whole bunch of gorgeous carrots, celery, onions, and herbs into the pot, only to remove them all a little while later, replacing them with new veggies that would feature in the actual soup, has always rubbed me the wrong way.
And buying cartons of stock is expensive and those cartons may or may not actually be recyclable (nevermind whether my waste removal company actually recycles the stuff it claims to recycle…) so that was not really doing it for me either. But then, a couple months ago, I saw a post on Facebook about making vegetable stock FROM KITCHEN SCRAPS!!!! My prayers had been answered.
So I started saving some of the veggie scraps (more below on which ones are best to use and which ones you should avoid) that would otherwise have gone straight into the compost bucket. I stored them in one of those big Ziploc bags in my freezer. Since I like to cook and I like vegetables, they started piling up pretty quickly.
Then I followed the incredibly simple instructions (basically, cover them with water, bring to a boil and simmer for one hour, then strain) to make my own homemade vegetable stock.
And guess what? It’s good! It was easy. It was free. And absolutely no vegetables were wasted in its making. Once I was done with those scraps, they got tossed on the compost heap, too.
Now we’ve got several containers of the stuff in our freezer, waiting for the next time we want to make some delicious soup. We also did an ice cube tray or two as it’s great to have some smaller units of stock on hand if you just need to de-glaze a pan or add a little bit of liquid to something but don’t want to go whole hog and defrost an entire yogurt container (those are our freezing containers of choice for bigger, liquid-y stuff) of the stuff.
The only thing I plan to change is omitting onion skins as I think I might prefer a clearer-looking stock – onion skins add nice flavor but also darken the color considerably. This is totally up to you, though.
So get scrappy and then get simmering! Once you’re fully stocked, I’ve got a short list of delicious soups you might want to try your stock on at the bottom of this post.
Next: Get the recipe!