Colonial Kitchen // Easy Vegetable Stock

Hey y'all! I just want to apologize in advance for giving you three soup recipes in a row for our new series Colonial Kitchen. But this one is worth it! Truth be told, the more I read on 18th century cooking, the less it seems that they ate many soups + stews. I know! It seems that that would be kind of a go-to! I mean, some people boil socks to give water a little something. Yuck! But, alas, soup was considered a way for people to put their leftovers to good use. If you didn't have much to eat, then you didn't really have a ton a leftovers, especially if you were living in a small colony of people. You ate every dang thing on your plate! 

Now, that's all jolly good, but we live in an interesting time, a privileged time. If you caught my post last week, you know that we're trying to live as waste free as possible. I discovered a new habit for myself, though old in context, that I really love. It's called making stock from leftovers! It was a new idea for me. As I flipped through an old cookbook, I came across a recipe for a "Winter Vegetable Soup" that sounded like all of the vegetables I had gathered in my pantry/refrigerator... and yet, it just wanted me to toss them all away after boiling them! What? Why would I do that? And then my dad had a great idea. Why don't you just use the leftover bits of vegetables? It all clicked for me then! That's what the colonists would have done, right? They wouldn't have wasted all of the last bits of their vegetables, the butt ends and peels, the onion skins and carrot tops. That made for good stock! So, for the past week or so, I've been saving all of my vegetable bits. And the extra celery stalks that started to go limp? I saved those, too. I bought some freezer bags and stuffed them full of vegetable bits and almost bad pieces and froze them.

This was so easy! The more I saved, the better I felt. I ended up coming out with three bags filled with frozen vegetables, which was shocking! All of that would have been tossed a few weeks ago. I pulled out one today and made it into fresh vegetable stock. It smelled glorious as it was simmering on the stove! I felt like I was doing something good; I was being waste free. Once I was done with the vegetables, I threw them into our compost bin, closed the lid, and felt really really amazing. This is such a simple way to save something old and create something new. I don't see why anyone couldn't turn this into a habit! Here's how to make some delicious vegetable stock.

INGREDIENTS (for 6-8 cups of broth) // 

  • 1 large bag of frozen vegetables leftovers (onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, leeks, fennel, celery, turnips, broccoli, parsnips, corn, etc)
  1. If you don't have all of those veggies, I would suggest definitely adding some chopped garlic cloves, carrots, and onion for a heartier flavor.
  • Enough water to fill over the vegetables. I filled my giant stove pot all the way up!
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp parsley

RECIPE // 

  • In a large soup pot, heat the frozen vegetables in water. Add the spices and bring to boil. 
  • Let simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring every now and then. I covered my pot, leaving a little crack for steam to escape.
  • Once steeped, strain over a sieve, collecting the stock in a separate bowl. Pour the stock into mason jars. I made enough for three 18 oz jars.
  • Let cool a bit and then cover. Stock can be kept fresh in the fridge for 5 days or frozen. 
  • When ready to cook, use the stock as you would normally. Tastes really great with rice, chopped carrots, potatoes, and celery!

See? That was easy! This is a great way to get use out of all parts of the vegetable. Who knew that the parts we don't like eating could make such yummy stock! Enjoy (:

xoxo Kayla