Everyone is complaining that it is too cold and too dark. I love a nice cold day because it gives me an excuse to stay inside and cook delicious and healthy things with Sweet P. Today I found myself with an overload of onions, carrots, and some celery about to go bad. I decided to make an easy and quick veggie stock that will come in handy for thanksgiving next month. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only next month!
A great way to stockpile veggie bits is to start a freezer bag. You put your onion peels, carrot ends, celery roots, etc. into the freezer bag rather than throwing it out. Within a week or two, you have enough veggies to make a veggie stock.
I went through a big chicken stock phase a few years ago…experimenting with different ways to extract flavor from the chicken bones (roasting, boiling, etc.) In the end, I figured out that there isn’t MUCH of a flavor difference and that the easiest way is just throw it all in to a pot with some veggie bits and cover it with water. It will come out better than store bought with little to no effort and there is no need to struggle with the perfect stock for something like veggie soup. If you are making something where the stock is your main flavor, you might want to pay attention to what you put in, otherwise just set it and forget it.
Today I used the following:
3 big yellow onions (skin on) quartered
10 carrot ends/pieces
2 bunches of celery roughly chopped
The ends of 2 bunches of scallions
1 red pepper (Seeds removed)
A few whole cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
a handful of fresh rosemary twigs
A big scoop of salt and a dash of pepper
1-2 cups white wine
Lemon Juice (just because I had some leftover and it tastes nice)
Enough water to cover your vegetables.
and there it is in all its beauty!
I let it simmer for as many hours as I have (today it was 3) and then I taste for seasoning and adjust (i usually need a bit more salt). Strain into a bowl and let it cool. Make sure you mash your veggies in the strainer with a wooden spoon to squeeze out all of the flavor. I put my stock into pint/quart containers and freeze it until I need it. It is a nice quick dinner plan to throw some veggies and chicken into a pan and toss a frozen quart of stock over it…voila chicken soup in no time!
Enjoy and don’t start complaining about this weather just yet…wait until it is sleeting and dark at 4pm! xo, SW and Sweet P