Basic Soup Stock
2-3 carrots, washed
2-3 ribs of celery, washed with leaves
1 handful of fresh parsley with stems
1-2 cups vegetable stalks, stems, peelings, leaves
2-3 garlic cloves, bruised
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
10-12 cups of water
Souped-Up Soup Stock
All of the above ingredients
1 cup of one or all of the following vegetables: turnip, bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, leeks, fennel, scallions, parsnip, rutabaga, potato, tomato, green beans, cabbage, asparagus, etc.
1 tsp fresh or dried sage
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
10-12 cups of water
For the Basic Soup Stock
Chop the vegetables into large chunks. Put all of the ingredients into a large stock pot and cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl. Use immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze and keep for several months.
For the Souped-Up Soup Stock
Chop the vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces. Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Saute the vegetables until the onions become soft; 5-10 minutes. Add the spices, parsley and water, cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Strain through a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl. Use immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze and keep for several months.
Add salt, tamari soy sauce or miso to taste when making soup or other dishes.
Tailor the spices and choices of vegetables to enhance the soup you're making.
Save and freeze tough broccoli and kale stalks, potato and squash peelings, asparagus and green bean ends, celery and cauliflower leaves, carrot tops, corn cobs and cabbage stems for future batches of soup stock.
Place the herbs and spices in a tea ball or wrap and tie in cheesecloth if you want to be able to remove them easily.
The cooked vegetables can either be eaten or tossed in the compost bin. Try pureeing them and adding them to soup or spaghetti sauce.
One idea for freezing the stock is to pour it into ice cube trays. After they freeze, transfer the cubes to freezer bags.
Use vegetable stock in place of water when making rice, quinoa, polenta, gravy, or braising vegetables. Or, add to mashed potatoes and stir fry.