A tetrapak of vegetable stock is a pantry staple - but homemade vegetable stock is almost effortless to make - especially if you are a dedicated composter. Compost is so loaded with the stuff of a hearty vegetable stock, you can easily divide your compost bin in two - dedicating one to 'stock'.
Just save your washed, chopped vegetable scraps in the freezer throughout the week - no cover necessary. Avoid stinky brassicas and red beets. Throw in ginger, lemongrass or kaffir lime if you want to make an Asian broth. Look for a ratio of 2 cups veggies to 1 cup stock.
Once you have about four cups of scraps - including the equivalent of least one onion, two carrots, three celery stalks, and four cloves of garlic - you're ready to begin. Other great vegetables to toss in include:
- beet greens
- bell peppers
To make stock, you can either roast or boil your vegetables.
To roast, toss your scraps with olive oil and sea salt on a parchment paper lined baking tray and roast at 450F until tender (about 45 minutes). Then put them in a blender with enough water to cover them.
To boil - consider using an asparagus pot with a built in strainer. Include a bouquet garni, a teaspoon of whole peppercorn, a tablespoon of sea salt, two cloves of garlic and some star anise. Add enough water to cover and simmer over low heat for at least an hour - stirring occasionally.
Whichever method appeals to you, when finished, strain through a cheesecloth lined colander to separate out your now compostable veggies from your broth. Stock freezes well in plastic containers and/or big ice-cube trays if you expect to need smaller amounts for a risotto, for example. Cool before freezing.