Another Woman’s Compost – Vegetable Stock

As I mentioned in my Monday Harvest post this week, much in my garden is bolting making it fairly inedible.  Fairly but not completely and that’s where this week’s Kitchen Cupboard post comes in.  Today faced with a forest of flowers (parsley that is), an abundance on non hearting cabbage leaves, some celery heading rapidly skyward I cut it all down and made vegetable stock for the freezer.

I make stock about once a week, using some straight away and freezing the rest for those weeks when I really can’t be bothered.  Usually its either chicken or vegetable stock I am making – and to be honest the basic ingredients don’t vary that much (except for the chicken) its just that I add more vegetables to the vegetable version.  I use the stock for soups, sauces, pilafs and risotto in the main so tend to freeze it in a variety of different size containers ranging from a cup to a couple of litres.

This following recipe makes a well flavoured vegetable stock.  The recipe is fairly fluid and can easily be varied according to what you have on hand, for instance I commonly add fennel and/or leeks, but I always include aromatics, celery, carrots and onions in the mix.

Vegetable Stock (makes about 1.5 litres of stock)

*Note you want to have about 800g – 1kg of vegetables to 3 litres of water. The below is a rough guide of the quantities of each type but please vary it to suit what you have.

  • 3 large onions
  • 3 large carrots
  • 4 celery stalks and/or leaves
  • 4 large cabbage leaves
  • a clove or two of garlic ( I used green garlic stalks today)
  • a large bunch of parsley (the bolting stalks are fine)
  • zest of a lemon
  •  handful of thyme
  • 10 peppercorns
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • 3 litres of water

Place all the above ingredients in a stockpot.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for a couple of hours, ensuring that the vegetables are always covered with water.  Strain, cool and freeze.

I usually make double this recipe but to do so you will need a reasonably big stockpot.

For other ways to preserve your harvest visit Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard which is at Jody’s Spring Garden Acre this week.

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10 Responses to Another Woman’s Compost – Vegetable Stock

  1. Dave says:

    That is a great idea. I make chicken and turkey broth all the time but I rarely make stock with vegetables. And homemade broth is so much better than canned!

    • Liz says:

      Absolutely agree about homemade broth and aside from the flavour being superior there are no dubious additives…. I find the commerical stocks way too salty, especially it you use them in a dish which you are adding other salty foods….

  2. Diana says:

    Brilliant idea Liz. We are having bolting festive here at the moment. Especially celery. We had so many self-sowed celery popping out on one of the patch last fall. I never tried making our own vegetable stock. You inspire me to have a go.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Diana, It is very easy although I do occasionally forget its on the stove and have boiled more than one pan dry…..

  3. Phoebe says:

    I’ve just started making my own stock after leaving home and its such a revelation!
    Fennel is so tasty in stock. And now I’m growing celery I have it all the time! YAY

    Taste sensation!

  4. Mark Willis says:

    I just LOVE home-made stock. And making it is so therapeutic too! Yours is a good way to make use of any veg that is too far gone to be served on a plate.

  5. Liz says:

    Mark & Phoebe – I think its one of the things I value my garden most for – the ability to make stock at any time, well that and salads….oh and tomatoes (I hope!!!!)

  6. Jo says:

    The lemon zest is something I hadn’t thought of before, I’ll have to try that.
    We bought a whole chinese duck the other day to make pancakes, and we made stock from the carcass to make duck rissotto, oh my gosh that was good…

  7. mac says:

    Yum~~I make chicken stock all the time, but I’ve never made a pure vegetable stock before, great idea, nothing goes to waste.

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