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Freezer Vegetable Stock
The beauty of this soup stock is how utterly complete it is in its self-sufficiency. It’s so very elegant in this way.
You don’t need to buy any extra vegetables to make a freezer vegetable
stock and, of course, you don’t need to buy the stock itself, which
makes it not only thrifty but ecologically responsible. (If you’re not
buying stock, you’re not buying that box it comes in.) Because you are
storing the scraps in the freezer, you don’t need to be in a rush to
use them. And this is where it gets really hot in here for those of us
who love to emulate our Depression-era relatives: you don’t need to buy
anything extra. You know the bottoms of celery, carrots and tomatoes,
onion skins (this will imbue your stock with a rich reddish-brown if
you don’t mind), assorted leaves (fennel fronds and beet greens),
peelings (carrots and potatoes) and tops (scallions)? The stuff you
might normally put in the compost? (Well, it’s still good for that.)
You can also use these scraps to create an amazing, closed-loop
vegetable stock. As people who consume a lot of vegetables, herbivores
can do this with virtually no effort, keeping an airtight bag of scraps
in the freezer for whenever you are needing stock. (I have a cloth
muslin bag that cinches at the top I use for this purpose.) Grabbing
about four cups of scraps to make two quarts of stock, you will find
yourself marveling at your resourcefulness. Heat up the scraps and
water on the stove or in the slow cooker, let it simmer a while, and
you will have a great stock without needing to buy anything extra. You
can also salt and season it to your liking.
* Don’t use spoiled vegetables. Wilted is fine.
* I always add garlic even if there isn’t any in my scrap bag. I also
always add herbs, like basil and rosemary. If you want to make an Asian
broth, add ginger and scallions to your stock.
* Certain vegetables are just not great for stock. I’ve found cabbage
and broccoli to be too prominent in flavor to blend into a stock.
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