I wrote most of this article from the oral surgery waiting room, as Rick had his wisdom teeth removed. Thanks to the unsuspecting man who hadn’t secured the hotspot on his Android, my wait was a productive one! If I remember correctly – the recovery from having your teeth yanked can be a long one – and the likelihood of soup in our near future is high. What better base to start from than home made vegetable stock?
This was one of my goals for this year – stop buying soup stocks and start making them. In the past 3 months I’ve only bought one carton, and have made many litres – hopefully a healthy habit has formed enough to stick.
Why make your own stock when there are plenty available at the grocery store, you may be asking. The real answer for me is more about what a home made stock doesn’t have in it – way less sodium than most store bought, no questionable ingredients (from “natural flavour” to MSG to sugar – who needs that stuff?) And, it’s way less work than you may think.
I really like the simplicity and clean taste of this, it serves as a good base from which you can get creative. Don’t get caught up in the ingredients, this as a very basic guideline from which you can create your own masterpiece. Mushrooms, garlic, different herb combinations – all good!
This recipe makes approximately 7 cups of vegetable stock.
2 medium onions
4 celery stalks
4 medium carrots
1 medium sweet potato
3 medium potatoes
8-9 cups of clean, filtered water
1 teaspoon of whole, black peppercorns
1 teaspoon of dried herbs OR a few sprigs of fresh (I used a mix of marjoram and basil – choose your favourite)
A handful of fresh parsley (I like to use Italian)
Scrub all of the vegetables and cut in to large chunks. No need to peel anything (unless you’re using something with a thick skin like squash or a vegetable with a waxy coating).
Place vegetables and herbs (except for parsley) in a large, heavy bottomed pot.
Cover with water (8-9 cups should do it).
Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 3-4 hours. Add the parsley in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Strain through a fine colander, discard the solids (you can keep and use these, but they have very little nutritional value at this point).
Store in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze in ziplock bags for up to 6 months.
To make a fantastic soup, roast your favourite vegetables and puree them with vegetable stock. Heat on the stove, season, and voila! Delicious and easy home made soup that you can be quite proud of.