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Having a jar of homemade stock available is at the top of my list of “essentials” when it comes to healthy cooking. I use stock for everything from sautéing greens and making rice to adding moisture to my veggie burger mix. It’s also a great way to use up bits and pieces of veggies that probably wouldn’t have a life of their own if not mixed together for stock. These are the stragglers that are one step ahead of the compost pile. Rather than using them to make dirt, use them to make stock.

Here’s how.

what you need (this is a launching pad, use whatever you have on hand)
Place random veggie parts and pieces in a large, deep stock pot. Full the pot half-full with chopped veggies. Add some garlic, fresh or dried herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, bay leaves), salt, 2 to 4 whole peppercorns and some dried mushrooms. The mushrooms are optional, but they do add a nice earthy flavor and substance to the stock. You can also add chopped jalapeno or red pepper flakes if you want stock with a kick. Cover with cold, filtered water, bring to a boil, turn heat down, put a lid on it and simmer for about 1 to 2 hours. Cool and strain. I often pick through the strained veggies and purée a few favorites to add a touch of thickness to the stock.

Veggie stock will keep in the fridge for about 4 or 5 days and in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. I freeze it in small batches, so I can pull out a container and use it for a couple of days to sauté vegetables or heat up already cooked rice or quinoa. I’m a fan of olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing, but using broth is low fat and low calorie. Plus it adds a nice, rich flavor to whatever you’re cooking.

* I keep a glass jar in the fridge for non-compostable (the elite stuff) veggie remnants during CSA season. I go through veggies so quickly that saving the better cast-aside pieces for making stock works well. Slightly past their prime is fine, bordering on old age is not good.

Peace, love and veggie remnants!
Melissa

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24 Responses to “homemade vegetable soup stock”

  1. Love the jar in the frig idea. Brilliant! Looking for one now. I freeze stock in ice cube trays, then put them into a container until I need just a little bit of stock. It also melts fast when cooking.

  2. Great idea. I love to make homemade stock.

  3. pdw says:

    My veggie scraps go into a ziploc bag in the freezer, to be made into vegetable stock when it’s full or I have the time.

    After straining the veggie scraps, then they can go in the compost heap!

  4. Alta says:

    Love the jar idea. I have recently started a ziploc idea – I realize a jar is better for you though! I just need MORE jars of substantial size is all!

  5. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    With you all the way with this, I try to make either chicken or veggie stock whenever possible. In fact I used some today to reconstitute some cous cous before adding other ingredients.

    I’m a devil for storing it in the fridge and not using it in time before the rot sets in, but that’s the down side of having a very small freezer.

    Have to tell you all that we’re experiencing a mini heatwave over here right now…. the garden is turbo charged, so are the herbs and I’ve been taking advantage. Also, I’ve planted out my baby butternut squash seedlings…. which I must remember to tell Miles about, I know how he loves to follow my squash sagas :)

    Melissa I’ll be emailing you with details of another site’s recipe for gf tamarind and coffee cupcakes …. they look fabulous.

    Cid

  6. Melissa says:

    Diane,

    Love the ice cube idea! I’m not an ice person for some reason so that idea didn’t come across my mind. Good one and thanks for adding it to the post!

  7. Melissa says:

    JoLynn,

    Thanks and there’s nothing more vegan than making your own veggie broth. :) That way you know exactly what’s in it.

  8. Melissa says:

    pdw — I absolutely love the idea of saving scraps bit by bit in the freezer. That’s a good one as well. And yes, anything not usable goes in my compost bin as well.

  9. Melissa says:

    Alta,

    I think I got those big jars of mine at Target or somewhere like that. I’ve had them for years and love them. They also work for the stock once it’s finished. Just wash the jar and pour the cooled stock back into it.

  10. Melissa says:

    Cid,

    It’s finally warmed up around here and the snow has melted (at least where I live, there’s still a ton in the high country). Not quite “heat wave” conditions, but it should be 75 or so today. I haven’t done a garden this year. The terrible hail storm we had last year destroyed mine and with my CSA membership, I’m just not all that motivated. Maybe I’ll do some potted herbs or something, but that will probably be it.

    I love your squash sagas. I’m sure Miles does as well. I’m not so sure about that guy at Table #5.

    Looking forward to GF tamarind and coffee cupcakes, although I’m doing a cleanse right now. I actually started it last month, but fell off the wagon (high impact body slam), so I started over last Monday. So far, so good.
    :-)

  11. carrie says:

    I don’t know that there is anything much better than homemade stock! I love vegetable stock! I’ve never thought of adding lemons to my stock, I bet that adds a wonderful flavor! Love your pictures as always!!

  12. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    I’ve been drinking lemon balm and thyme tea…. sometimes nettle and that’s been my contribution toward a cleanse. Not very good really but it’s a start and I do like these refreshing teas straight from the garden into the pot. It’s a question of listening to the body …. trouble is my body is telling me it likes cake and well as herb tea :) So only listen to the body when it’s absolutely necessary…. for the rest of the time read this blog and follow Melissa!

    Cid

  13. I love the refrigerator idea except my refrigerator is always in overload mode (understatement!) with fresh greens, almond flour, millet flour, etc. So I tend to use the freezer more. I salvage veggies, chicken carcasses, etc. and use them all. But, I’m guilty of discarding goodies (leaves, stems) that could be used to make stock. This post is a great reminder NOT to do that–thank you, Melissa! In my next life, I truly, truly want a restaurant-sized refrigerator. Last, I so love that first photo!

    Shirley

  14. lo says:

    Great idea to use a jar to collect all those veggie bits to make stock! I’ve got to start making that a more regular practice.

  15. Melissa says:

    Carrie,

    The batch in that photo just happened to have a lemon peel in it, that’s not something I always do. It’s usually just whatever looked good over the prior few days. Makes for some interesting stocks and weird colors (the beets and cabbage make for a purple hue). Nothing like pink soup stock!

    :-)

  16. Melissa says:

    Cid,

    I’m so envious of your herb gardening. Are your lemon balm, thyme and nettle teas straight from the garden? I can almost smell the deliciousness of your teas.

    I know, I know (the cake thing). I have my own battle with baked goods calling my name. Must ignore the inner ranting as the muffins and breads seem to take hold in new and lasting ways now. Darn!

    Melissa

  17. Melissa says:

    Shirley,

    I’m with you on the fridge over-load. I spent 2 hours yesterday totally cleaning out and scrubbing my fridge from top to bottom. It’s amazing what you discover (little pieces of ginger, a half-jar of capers, a small chunk of seriously “aged” cheese, a jar of beet juice. Well, you get the idea. My freezer isn’t very big and it has it’s own share of secret ingredients!

    xo

  18. Melissa says:

    Lo,

    I do so much cooking with soup stock that making it has become a routine for me. Even if you just make a small batch, it’s great for adding liquid to anything you’re sautéing or reheating. Good stuff, for sure.

    Love hearing from you. Will stop by “Food Happens” right now and see what’s cooking over there.

    :-)

  19. michele says:

    Nice! I’m glad I found your blog. I’m trying to live healthier now and want to learn as much as I can.
    Thanks for the great idea. I love it!

  20. Chris in Wyoming says:

    Another fab idea! Thanks for all you do. This, and that CSA will start soon, will motivate me to clean out the fridge and start fresh!

  21. Melissa says:

    Michele,

    Thanks and welcome. Good for you for jumping on the “trying to live healthier” bandwagon. It’s an interesting and enlightening journey, that’s for sure!

  22. Melissa says:

    Chris,

    So nice to hear from you! You’re sooo welcome and thanks for all you do. You’re a beacon of inspiration from which I gain good energy, so the appreciation is mutual!

    xo

  23. I always promote making homemade chicken stock, but never thought of making homemade vegetable stock. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will have to share it with my readers, as well!

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