I LOVE soup. I could live on it. And when I’m not eating soup, I’m using stock to boil rice or other grains.
It occurred to me recently that buying stock is probably quite a lot more expensive than making your own. I haven’t steeled myself for boiling up fish heads or giblets yet, but I did make a rather nice vegetable stock last weekend, and it was extremely simple.
The frugal beauty of this is that the most expensive thing in this were the dried mushrooms that I threw in (and they probably cost me about 50 cents). Everything else was stuff I had anyway, and stuff I would have thrown away (I wasn’t planning on using the beet leaves or the hard stems from the kale, the outer cabbage leaves or its heart). Shopping around, I found that vegetable stock can cost $6 for the same amount of the cheapest one I could find, $11 for the nice organic brand I like.
So here’s my recipe. It’ll need salt, of course, but I thought I’d leave that out until I’m actually using it.
JULIE’S VEGETABLE STOCK
4-5 Red cabbage leaves and heart
Beet leaves (from a bunch of three beets)
3 spring onions
thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
1/2 red pepper
soy sauce (a few splashes)
handful of flat leaf Italian parsley
5 dried morrel mushrooms
10 black peppercorns
3 taps of ground sage (sprinkler lid)
16 cups of water
Chop up vegetables roughly. Place in large stock pot. Heat until it reaches the boil (which takes quite a long time) then simmer for 30 minutes (or longer). Leave to cool. Put 2-4 cups into freezer bags, mark quantity on bag, and freeze. Use as needed.
Makes about 12 cups of stock