Wanting to start making stocks from scratch, but not sure where to start? Vegetable stock is a perfect way to start, no bones to worry about! I started to realize how many vegetable scraps I was throwing away, and I wanted to find a way to put them to use. So I started putting all my vegetable scraps into a gallon freezer bag, once the bag is full, It’s time to make stock.
I put items like celery ends, carrot tops, and their greens, onion peels, mushrooms trimmings, asparagus ends, you get the idea, anything you wouldn’t eat but is still “edible” is good to add. Fresh herbs are also good additions. You can keep bags for vegetable scraps in the freezer so you can make homemade stock whenever, you can also you use these frozen scraps to make chicken and beef stock. Whenever I break down chickens, I do multiple at a time, than I portion each cut into freezer bags and freeze them for later. That being said I am left with many chicken carcasses, which is perfect for making stock, and did I mentioned super affordable!
To make stock I suggest using a large 5 qt dutch oven, I love using my Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven. Start by adding in your vegetable scraps you should have almost enough to fill the pot to the top. Add in your peppercorns and bay leaves, you can leave these loose no need to wrap them. Cover with cold water, I used a little over 4 qts, you don’t want your pan to be too full.
Bring to a boil and high heat, than reduce heat and bring to a simmer, allow to simmer for 1-2 hours, vegetable stock does not need to cook as long as beef or chicken stock because you do not need to collagen in bones to break down. At this point the vegetables should be wilted and almost colorless. The stock should be somewhat fragrant and a light brown color, the color may vary slightly according to what vegetables you use.
After the stock has simmered 1-2 hours, allow it to cool, than using cheese cloth, a tea towel, or a fine mesh strainer, strain the vegetables, peppercorns and bay leaves from the liquid. At this point you can discard the vegetable scraps, I think they have had a pretty useful life! Keep the stock in the fridge if you plan on using it within a week, or freeze the stock for up to 4 months. You can also can the stock if your prefer, but if you plan on doing that I would suggest making a bigger batch!
- 4-6 cups of scraps
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp black peppercorn
- 4 quarts water
- Add the vegetable scraps to a 5 quart dutch oven, add in black peppercorns and bay leaves, add in the water.
- Bring to a boil, than reduce heat to a simmer, allow to simmer for 1-2 hours.
- After simmering allow stock to cool, strain the veggies, bay leaves and peppercorns out, refridgerate stock and use within a week, or freeze and use within 4 months.