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Natural Awakenings, Palm Beach County, Florida

Scrap Vegetable Stock

Mar 31, 2022 ● By Sheila Julson
Jar of homemade stock made out of vegetable scraps

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Those potatoes that start to sprout, the straggler stalks of celery wilting in the back of the crisper drawer or that pompon of green carrot tops can all be used to make vegetable stock. This is a very general recipe with plenty of creative license to get more mileage from leftover vegetables that normally would have been discarded.

Start by collecting vegetable scraps that typically aren’t used—thick asparagus ends, carrot tops and broccoli stems. Even wilted kale or limp carrots that are no longer good to eat fresh, but are still free from mold or mush, can be added. Coarsely chop scrap veggies and put them into a freezer bag. Store them in the freezer until four to five pounds of vegetable scrap have been accumulated.

Yield: about 3 quarts

4 to 5 lb vegetable scraps (can include the freezer bag of vegetable scraps, green tops from a fresh bunch of carrots, slightly wilted kale, turnips that are starting to turn soft or any combination)
2 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
6 quarts water
Salt to taste

Coarsely chop all vegetables and add to a large stockpot. (If the vegetables are still frozen, dump them into the stockpot; they’ll begin to thaw during the cooking process.) Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently.

Cook for about two hours or until the liquid is reduced by about half and the color begins to fade from the vegetables.

Let the mixture cool. Strain the stock into a large bowl.

Compost the vegetables, as they are now flavorless; all of the flavors have been cooked into the broth.

Strain broth a second time through a cheesecloth or sieve for an even clearer broth. Salt to taste and portion into Mason jars.

Store in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, or freeze if saving for later use.


Courtesy of Sheila Julson.


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