Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Easy Being Green: Homemade Vegetable Stock

Awhile back, I read that you could make your own vegetable stock by keeping a large Ziploc in the freezer, adding veggie scraps/cheese rinds to it, and then turning it into stock once it was full. Today my bag was full, as you see below, and the timing was perfect, because Kroger has apparently quit carrying my favorite boxed stock (Wolfgang Puck). In the bag: celery trimmings, red and yellow onion skins and trimmings, spinach that I wasn't going to eat before it went bad, asparagus trimmings, Parmesan rind, and about a tablespoon of tomato paste that I had left over from a recipe.
Some recipes involve sauteing onions, garlic, etc. in butter before adding the freezer veggies and water. I skipped that step. Here is what I did: dumped the bag into a non-stick stockpot, added some things from the fridge that were on the verge of going bad (some scallions and a handful of carrots), added fresh parsley from the garden, added kosher salt (2 tsp) and freshly ground pepper (1 tsp), and covered with water.
I brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for an hour and a half. Here it is at one hour:
And here it is after straining out the solids through a fine mesh sieve:
Oh my gosh, it is so delicious!! It actually tastes remarkably like the Wolfgang Puck stock. I'm going to use half of this to make vegetable soup this week, and freeze the other half. The strained solids will be composted.
Why is this an It's Easy Being Green post? (1) Because these veggies/scraps are doing double or triple duty -- some provided food for us, this stock, and will now be composted (others can claim the last two steps). (2) The resources used to box up and ship stock from who-knows-where won't be expended, and I don't even have to use the gas to go to the grocery store and get it. You can add another layer of "green" by using veggies from your own garden in the stock.

FYI: I read that you shouldn't add potatoes (not sure why) or cruciferous vegetables (too bitter) to your freezer bag.

Happy weekend!


Janet said...

You did it!!! Looks yummy.

Randy Emmitt said...


Excellent posting. Where was this article yesterday when we cleaned out the fridge( we got a new fridge) and I composted about 6 ounces of cheese rinds, the expensive kind. I'll make sure Meg reads this as she is the soup maker here.

Prairie Chicken... said...

I do this too!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a great idea and it looks so good!

Susie said...

I've not done this before but what a great idea.

Phillip said...

That looks delicious!

Lisa Blair said...

Ginger - thank you for sharing this idea. I am going to try this.

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