At the moment, I’m trying to reduce waste in my apartment. This is something I really should have tried before, as I hate throwing any foods away to the extent that I must have been on the verge of food poisoning more than once from eating something way out of date. I’ll tell you this: eat out-of-date-hummus once, fool on me; eat out-of-date-hummus twice, check yourself into a hospital.
Anyway, along with saving coffee grounds to use on my herb garden, making homemade vegetable stock from the ends of all the veggies I use throughout the week is my New Thing. This is also a Thing because vegetable stock cubes are near impossible to get hold of here in Panama, and the liquid stock is incredibly expensive.
However, this is a fun little task for a Sunday night and doesn’t require much effort at all. Plus it tastes WAY better than your Oxo cubes or that stuff that comes in packets.
This isn’t really a recipe, as much as a guideline; buying new stuff to follow this recipe goes totally against the whole idea, to me, but feel free to substitute the vegetables here for ones you’ve used throughout your week. Ginger is a worthwhile addition, but you shouldn’t use leafy green vegetables or ones that will break down too easily and be kinda wierd. Root vegetables, onions and garlic are key!
Leftover vegetables / ends / skins: onions are key, with the skins left on, and carrots, broccoli, celery, fennel, peppers and sweet potatoes are all wonderful!
salt and pepper to taste; I prefer using lemongrass over salt
Heat the oil on high in a large pan, and throw in the onions, garlic, ginger and all your vegetables
Stir to coat and cook until beginning to brown
Add in a splash of balsamic vinegar, the oregano and the rosemary, and stir again to coat
Add in enough water to cover all the vegetables and then some
Bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer
Cook uncovered for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally
Remove the large pieces of vegetable with a slotted spoon, the allow the stock to cool then sieve the rest
Store in jars for up to a week. You can also freeze this stock, but be careful freezing in glass; you will need to leave extra room for expansion while it freezes
As a clever idea, you can also freeze this stock into ice cube trays, so you can just pop a few into a soup when necessary!
If you have a garden and grow things, you can keep the leftover veggies from this and compost them, and then use them to grow even more delicious, fresh vegetables. The circle of life, indeed!
Once you’ve made this a couple of times you’ll learn how to change things up for specific uses or just for your particular taste. This is the funnest part.