Stock is a kitchen staple and will make your dishes taste much better than using plain water. Here's a how-to from Madeline Guzman.
Do I have to throw away my vegetable scraps?
Newsletter Editor Tuv Ha’Aretz in Rockville, MD
Here’s a green idea! Instead of throwing away the vegetable scraps you don’t want, save them by turning them into stock.
This is what to do. Collect and save well-scrubbed vegetable peelings, roots, stalks, leaves (NOT rhubarb), and ends that you would otherwise discard (nothing spoiled or moldy!) Be sure to use onions, carrots, and celery as part of this mix. Other good vegetables to use are leeks, scallions, garlic, fennel, chard, lettuce, potatoes, parsnips, green beans, squash, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and asparagus. Additionally, you can add corn cobs, winter squash skins, beet greens, and herbs like parsley and cilantro. Avoid using cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas, or artichokes – all of which tend to have an overpowering taste. Be aware that onion skins will turn the stock brown and beet roots will turn it red. Chop the veggie scraps into similar sized pieces and store in your freezer while collecting them.
When ready to use, add 4 cups of veggie scraps to 2 quarts of water and simmer on the stove for an hour to make vegetable stock. After simmering, remove veggie scraps from the liquid, and press the veggie scraps to extract and save as much liquid as possible. Warning: the taste might be odd (my family and I agreed that the stock I made tasted truly weird!) because it is only the unseasoned liquid made from a conglomeration of vegetables. Not to worry. Allow the liquid to cool; then freeze it. Use this vegetable stock as a base for your next homemade soup. My Chinese Cabbage Soup (recipe below used with my weird-tasting veggie stock came out excellent!
Chinese Cabbage Soup
Hearty and a bit picante!
2 Tbsp olive oil 4 large potatoes, peeled & diced
1 large onion, chopped 1 Tbsp dried oregano
4 green onions, chopped 2 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic (or 1 garlic scape), minced 1 tsp black pepper
4 stalks celery with leaves (chopped) 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large carrots, cubes (with a few minced greens) 2 bay leaves
1 ½ quarts vegetable broth 1 tsp salt
4 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 (15-oz) can black beans
1 small (or ½ large) Chinese cabbage, shredded
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, and sauté white onions, green onions, and garlic until tender. Mix in the celery and carrots. Stir in broth, tomato sauce, black beans, Chinese cabbage, and potatoes. Season with oregano, basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender. Remove bay leaves (if you can find them) before serving.
2008- Adapted from a recipe by Wakulachef submitted to allrecipes.com