My stock usually tastes different each time because the ingredients depend on what scraps I have on-hand. There have definitely been times when I’ve needed stock and have not had enough scraps so then I’ll throw in an onion, a few carrots, several pieces of celery, garlic, mushrooms, and a sweet potato, along with various herbs and spices.
They key to making good stock is to use a variety of ingredients that add different flavors. For example, you probably wouldn’t want a stock filled with all onions as this would be rather bitter, but instead, you would want to balance the onions with the sweetness of carrots and sweet potatoes. I’ve found this scrap method to be perfect for creating rich, flavorful stocks because I tend to use a variety of vegetables in my kitchen so my scrap pile is usually quite diverse.
Making stock is a loose and adaptable process so instead of giving you a regimented recipe, I’m going to give you the basic method for making vegetable stock using scraps. Once you try this and see how easy it is, you’ll be hooked!
How to make perfect vegetable stock using scraps:
- Save vegetable scraps in a plastic bag or glass jar in the freezer. When you have enough scraps to easily fill half of a medium pot, you’re ready to make stock! (You can always make smaller or larger batches, but this seems to yield the perfect amount that I use up within a week in my home.)
- Add vegetable scraps to a large pot and add enough water to just cover the scraps. Or, if you want to make a concentrated stock, add enough water to cover the bottom half of the scraps.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for one hour.
- Strain stock to remove solids.
- Store vegetable stock in the fridge and use within 7 days. Or, freeze vegetable stock by adding to glass jars, leaving 2 inches of room at the top (for expansion), and storing in the freezer until ready to use. (Any glass jar will do, but I love my mason jars for freezing extra stock.)
- Use in your favorite soups, stews, or in any recipes that call for stock. You can also replace any water in recipes for stock (such as when making rice or legumes).