Soups are one of the most comforting meals ever! They are healthy, hearty and are great to pack ahead for lunch and even make a wholesome dinner. But the base of any good soup is a delicious stock!
The stock does so much more than just adding the liquid element to a soup, it is what upholds the soup to its true flavor. I love making my vegetable stock from scratch, instead of using store bought ones. Its just a lot more brighter and flavorful. Plus when I make it the entire house smells amazing!!
The best way to make this stock is to save all your vegetable scraps overtime. My usual vegetable scraps include any or all of the following:
- Onion ends (the root) and/or onion skin
- Carrot peels and/or carrot ends
- Potato peels
- Garlic ends
- Ginger peels
- Celery ends and/or celery leaves
- Scallion ends
- Leek ends
- Mushroom stems
- Shallot ends and/or shallot skin
I usually have a large ziplock bag in which I save all the vegetable scraps and pop the bag in the freezer. Once the bag is full, it’s time to make some stock! This is the best way you can use all the vegetable scraps that are packed with flavor, which you would otherwise just discard.
Side note – Being just a little bit more cautious as to what we throw away and what we can squeeze more use out of can really take your cooking a long way. I always try to use every part of an ingredient, to make sure my cooking is sustainable and feel great knowing that there’s almost no waste!
In addition to the scraps, I make sure to add some fresh ingredients as well. A few sprigs of fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley or thyme, a few bay leaves, some star anise and a few cloves of garlic. These fresh herbs give it the brightness it needs. I usually make a big batch of the stock and freeze it in 2-cup portion sizes in airtight containers. So whenever we are in the mood for some soup, I just defrost a container to add to the soup. And trust me, once you get used to your homemade stock, you are not going to want to buy it from the store any more!
Homemade Vegetable Stock
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil evoo
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4-5 star anise
- A few sprigs of fresh herbs like cilantro parsley, thyme
- 2-3 cups of frozen vegetable scraps - onions ends onion skin, carrot peels, carrot ends, potato peels, sweet potato peels, garlic ends, ginger peels, celery ends, celery leaves, scallion ends, leek ends, mushroom stems, shallot ends, shallot skin etc.
- 8 cups of water
- Heat the evoo in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, bay leaves and star anise and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add water, frozen scraps and the fresh herbs.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 1 hour.
- Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discard all the vegetables and solids.
- Once the stock is cooled, store in freezer in 2 cup portion size in airtight containers or freezer bags.