Stock is the easiest way to jazz up just about any simple dish. It can be used in lieu of water to make rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or any other grain, giving it flavor, depth, and a bit of ‘something special’ and of course there’s no better soup than a soup that is made with homemade veggie stock!
Making your own vegetable stock is probably the simplest thing to do in the kitchen that saves money and reduces waste. Also did you know that store bought stocks contain nasty preservatives, even the ‘organic’ ones. Besides it’s always best to know exactly what goes into your food, even down to the liquid.
All you need is a gallon freezer bag, a pot, basic herbs and spices, and vegetable scraps such as onion ends, carrot peels, green onion and celery tops, leek ends, bell pepper and zucchini stems, fresh herbs that are starting to turn or dry out, just about anything you cut off while prepping your vegetables. Just take these scraps, store them in a gallon zip lock bag in the freezer, wait for it to fill up- you need about 5-6 cups full for maximum flavors- then prepare. That simple.
Place your full bag of vegetable scraps into a large soup pot. Add between 2-4 crushed garlic cloves, two bay leaves, about 10 crushed peppercorns, ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, and 3 large cloves.
Using either a piece of string or a herb stem, tie together a bunch of whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, pour in 6-8 cups of water, bring to a full boil, then turn the heat down to medium to medium low and let it simmer, covered, for an hour to an hour and half.
Once your stock is done, let it cool down completely, strain through a cheesecloth or a mesh strainer, divide into portions if desired. This can stay in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for several months.