Homemade Vegetable Stock, a great way to use up things in the fridge, and also to have some delicious vegetable stock on hand.
Song of the day: "Our Love" by The Rural Alberta Advantage.
Homemade Vegetable Stock is an easy recipe to do and can be used in so many ways from stir-frys to sauces, gravies to just pure and simple soups.
Homemade anything is always a good thing. First knowing what type of ingredients are going in, and second the pleasure of making it with your own hands in your own kitchen. For me, vegetable stock represents the base of a healthy and incredibly comforting soup. Actually, I love the whole process of going to the market or home garden, picking the vegetables, washing them, cutting them up and finally waiting for that aroma to arise in the kitchen from that wonderful trinity called "The Mirepoix".
As you are all well aware of, Nicoletta and I absolutely are fond of farmers markets. We are fortunate that Edmonton has an abundance of markets throughout the city from north to south, and even east to west. Ones we frequent are City Centre 104 market which is beautiful in the summer, and one that is year-round comfortable The Old Strathcona's Market. Now that winter has set in, it is just pure joy to walk into the market feel that warm heat and see all the stands bustling in business, with the aromas of people's creativity and passion and also a cafe restaurant cooking, fill the air. The music resounding in the background from the local musicians busking just adds another level of ambiance to the experience.
This particular visit brought us home with lots of produce and two in particular, the celery and leeks you see above. The celery caught my eye seeing that foliage and vibrant green color. I knew this celery would be perfect to make a wonderful tasty stock. The celery was bought at Sunrise Gardens located on the east side of the market right across from another great stand called Sunworks Farm. The leeks, together with these amazing onions called cipolline, and some very tasty garlic cloves, were all bought at Sparrow's Nest Organics located in the middle of the market. Just down from the famous Theo's Greek Kouzina, where you will always be greeted with a smile, a handshake, and lastly, a passionate hello. I have to tell you smiles at the market are in the millions, okay, slightly exaggerated, thousands, still a great place to be infused with the happiness bug, lol.
Enough chit-chat let's get going on this Homemade Vegetable Stock!
This Homemade Vegetable Stock is a collaboration of products from the market and our own homegrown carrots. I think it will be great and we still have so many carrots in the fridge. This will put a dent into the inventory. So as in the picture you see we have the celery and yes we use the leaves, which I think give incredible flavor to the broth. There are our carrots nice and juicy and crisp, some of the cipolline onions, the leek, and a few cloves of garlic. This is all chopped into small pieces. You could leave them big but time is a factor for us so the smaller the veggies the quicker the stock gets done. For me, and this is my personal preference, I saute the veggies in some good quality olive oil and add in bay leaves, and just some thyme sprigs for a little spice to the mix. It also adds a wonderful backdrop to the broth. I think that by sauteing the veggies first you release all those juices and sugars into the pan and oil then when the onions are starting to soften you pour in the water and that just seals all those flavors in. Some salt and pepper for seasoning before with the veggies and after the water is poured in. Not too much and not too little. Have a spoon nearby so you can taste. It is a great way to ensure the seasoning of the broth. I cover the pot, leave it on a medium heat, when the broth begins to boil rapidly, I turn the heat down a bit.
The final stages are to take out the liquid. I store it in a large canning jar, then put it in the fridge. It is good for a couple of weeks, if you want it for longer, store it in a plastic container and freeze it, that you will have for a few months. I generally don't keep things in the freezer too long, hate that freezer burn taste that happens. Realistically, I like things fresh, but for the purpose of not wasting I am willing to store it for a bit, but be rest assured it will be on the weekly meal plan roster, guaranteed.
All the vegetables left in the pot did not go to waste. I left some of the liquid in and added some finely diced potatoes and let that cook till the potatoes were fork tender. I got out my trusted friend, the hand blender or Cuisinart and pureed the veggies together with the broth sans bay leaf and thyme sprigs. We had the vegetable soup that day. The flavor so delicious. The celery with its earthy pepperiness, the onions so sweet and velvety and caramelized, just melting in your mouth. That sugary sweetness from the carrots amazing, all together with that hint of thyme and bay leaf, adding their super special touches to the mix. The potatoes brought it all together with that comforting creaminess.
I have to say, soup is a spiritual thing for me. When sick, it nurtures you to health, when cold it warms you up, when hungry it delights your stomach and tastebuds with a comforting and delightful feeling of being cared for.
What better way to nurture and love yourself, than making some Homemade Vegetable Stock. I remember being a kid and playing for hours outside in the snow and cold, my hands frozen and cheeks frosted. The minute I walked through that door and into the house smelling that soup brewing, all frostbite and chills just melted away. Soup is a great way to spread the love to people you know and care for! So you have carrots, onions, and celery, get chopping, simmering, and have those spoons ready because there is something cooking in the kitchen!
P.S. Remember this stock can be also used for your stir-frys, to make a gravy or sauce, for braising vegetables, and a great base for any vegetarian soup you would want to create. We even used it for a risotto dish that is coming soon to SugarLoveSpices.
Song of the day: "Our Love" by The Rural Alberta Advantage.Print
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