One of many reasons we love vegetables is that they pollute very little waste relative to other foods. There’s little to no packaging, there are no ingredients to source and assemble – you simply harvest it from the ground and you’re good to go. However, after cutting up a big pile of veggies you might find yourself with some less-edible scraps. Peels, ends, stems; these typically go right into the trash. However, those scraps still have a lot of nutritional value. This quick reclaimed vegetable stock recipe makes use of what you would typically throw out.
Avoid using potato skins or scraps from veggies in the brassica (broccoli, rutabagas, etc) family. These can be very bitter or contain compounds that may make you sick. Otherwise, you’re good to go; just toss it in the pot!
You don’t have to come up with your scraps all at once; you can save them and freeze them in a resealable bag. Once you have enough, cook up this yummy vegetable stock!
4-8 cups vegetable scraps
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
4 large garlic cloves, split
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
12 cups cold water
- Add your scraps to a large stockpot, along with your bay leaf, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Cover over with cold water by an inch, and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for an additional 45 minutes.
- Strain your stock and either use it right away or let it cool and store in containers. Use within three days or freeze for up to three months.
A reclaimed vegetable stock like this one is versatile; experiment with adding other types of vegetable scraps to the stock. Good candidates are corn cobs, tomato tops, squash ends, fennel, parsnip peels, green bean tips, pea pods, bell pepper hulls, eggplant stems, mushrooms, and asparagus. Add onion for extra flavor – a good ratio is one part onion to two parts vegetable scraps.
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