Fresh Vegetable Stock – For Free!

Today I made another batch of “free” veggie stock! I love doing this.

I save all my veggie scraps in a gallon zip-lock bag in the freezer: carrot peels/ends, onion ends, fennel fronds/stalks, celery ends/leaves, broccoli ends, parsley/herb stems, etc. I don’t save too many cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, as they can overpower the stock flavors.

Anyway, once my gallon bag is filled, it’s time to make stock. I dump the whole bag (frozen) into my 7qt cast iron pot, along with a handful of homemade dried celery leaves, then I add water to cover (today I used 14 cups) and simmer. You could probably add other dried herbs too.

I didn’t want it to boil too quickly, so I slowly heated the contents on the stove, and after about 1.5 to 2 hrs, I moved the pot from the stovetop to a low-heat oven and simmered for another hour or so.

I carefully removed all the bigger veggie pieces, then strained the rest in a colander. Then strained once more to remove all the teenie bits using a fine mesh strainer. It made just about 14 cups, almost filling 4 qt sauce pot.

I used the stock today to make bacon lentil veggie soup. Yum. But it can easily be frozen like any other stock.

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