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Freezer Vegetable Stock

Freezer Vegetable Stock


The beauty of this soup stock is how utterly complete it is in its self-sufficiency. It’s so very elegant in this way.

You don’t need to buy any extra vegetables to make a freezer vegetable stock and, of course, you don’t need to buy the stock itself, which makes it not only thrifty but ecologically responsible. (If you’re not buying stock, you’re not buying that box it comes in.) Because you are storing the scraps in the freezer, you don’t need to be in a rush to use them. And this is where it gets really hot in here for those of us who love to emulate our Depression-era relatives: you don’t need to buy anything extra. You know the bottoms of celery, carrots and tomatoes, onion skins (this will imbue your stock with a rich reddish-brown if you don’t mind), assorted leaves (fennel fronds and beet greens), peelings (carrots and potatoes) and tops (scallions)? The stuff you might normally put in the compost? (Well, it’s still good for that.) You can also use these scraps to create an amazing, closed-loop vegetable stock. As people who consume a lot of vegetables, herbivores can do this with virtually no effort, keeping an airtight bag of scraps in the freezer for whenever you are needing stock. (I have a cloth muslin bag that cinches at the top I use for this purpose.) Grabbing about four cups of scraps to make two quarts of stock, you will find yourself marveling at your resourcefulness. Heat up the scraps and water on the stove or in the slow cooker, let it simmer a while, and you will have a great stock without needing to buy anything extra. You can also salt and season it to your liking.

Some tips:

* Don’t use spoiled vegetables. Wilted is fine.

* I always add garlic even if there isn’t any in my scrap bag. I also always add herbs, like basil and rosemary. If you want to make an Asian broth, add ginger and scallions to your stock.

* Certain vegetables are just not great for stock. I’ve found cabbage and broccoli to be too prominent in flavor to blend into a stock.
 


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