It’s really not so hard, and so rewarding. Just think, you get to use your vegetable scraps twice (first in stock, then in your compost) and your heart will swell with pride everytime you thaw a container of your homemade stock for a soup or sauce base.
1. Wash your vegetables before chopping or peeling, and keep your clean scraps. I keep two compost bowls in the house. One with vegetable scraps, and one for eveything else (including anything brown, or moldy, or whatever). When the vegetable scrap bowl is full – which can easily happen in one big cooking night, I make stock!
2. Take a big old stock or soup pan. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium. Add some whole garlic cloves (don’t even peel them!) and a quarted onion. Stir, until the garlic and onion begin to brown. Add the
3. Add the other vegetable scraps (carrot peelings, onion skins, squash scraps, lettuce bottoms, even apple cores and peels – whatever!) and stir. Cook of medium briefly until the scraps slightly brown.
4. Add a bunch of water. How much depends on how many scaps you have! You should have enough that the scaps can float and freely move about. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes.
5. Strain, and store liquid in the refrigerator or freezer.
You can make all kinds of variations on this stock. Add lemongrass and chilis for a southeast asian stock, wine and herbs de provence for a french-style stock – anything you wish! Just remember to label your stocks, (I freeze mine in old yogurt containers, labeled with a sharpie on masking tape) and always keep a nuetral, classic stock in the house!