You crave for a hot piping soup and check out that recipe in the internet. The next thing you know is that it requires vegetable stock for the preparation. What do you do? You head out to buy from the store. Or settle down with those stock cubes that has been in your pantry for long. Ha! Forget it! You simply add some water.
But what if I tell you that this is the easiest thing you can do? Chop some vegetables, add few herbs, cover with water and simmer. Your vegetable stock is ready!
What You Need:
3 celery stalks
1 small bunch parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Preparation of Vegetable Stock:
- Bring together the vegetables of your choice. Onions, carrots and celery give the basic flavor to your stock. You can always add your left over veggies like broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, mushroom stems, leeks and beans.
- Put in the herbs of your choice. Thyme gives you that woody note. However, if you do not have it in handy, substitute with a small cinnamon stick. Parsley, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, fennel and bay leaves are other herbs you can use. Note that garlic gives a strong flavor and hence you should know for what exactly you are using the broth for. We can add the extra seasonings when we actually prepare the dish.
- Clean and roughly chop the vegetables and herbs and throw them all into a saucepan.
- Add water so that it covers the vegetables. The more water you add, the lighter flavored your stock will be. If you add less water, the stock will be concentrated.
- Bring to a boil. Simmer. Cover and cook for about an hour. Stir every now and then.
- Strain the stock and pour into glass jars. Refrigerate and use for up to a week.
An hour to an hour and a half. Yes, you heard that right. This helps the water to get infused with all the flavors and goodness of the veggies and herbs.
How to Use:
Now that your vegetable stock is ready, how do you use it? You can use it for
- your curries and gravies.
- soups, pastas, stews, pilafs, risottos or casseroles.
- or use as a substitute for chicken stock.
What to do with Left-over Veggies:
Honestly, there isn’t much left to do with the left-overs as it is deprived of all flavors and zing. Remove garlic and onion and you can use it for dog food, as far as I know. But then, you CAN in fact do few things.
- squish and puree the carrots with a cup of stock and add it right back to the stock.
- to a stir-fry.
- in an omelette.
- puree and use in a soup.
Got more ideas? Let me know in the comment section below.
Written for Day 10 of #NaBloPoMo by BlogHer
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