Free Vegetable Stock from Christin Butler, who finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to do what I've understood I should do for decades. This is a major saving, because one good bouillon cube costs about 40 cents.

Hi, I was just reading up a little bit, I like your ideas.  I already do a lot of this stuff, because I'm naturally frugal, and I'm already a vegetarian who despises processed food.  I was wondering:  do you make your own vegetable stock?  Because it's super-easy, super-cheap, and would probably be a flavorful and nutritious addition to a lot of your recipes.

This is my method:

1.  I keep the crappy parts of vegetables that I don't use while I'm cooking such as:  carrot root ends, carrot greens (very nutritious but not so pleasant to actually eat), onion skins*, celery leaves, pepper tops, mushroom stems, and whatever else, and put them in a quart-sized freezer bag which I just always keep in the freezer.  Don't keep stuff like broccoli and strong greens, since the flavors are too powerful.  I only add a small amount of tomato scraps, because it can also overpower the broth and make it too sweet.

2.  When the bag is full, I add the contents of the bag, plus a quart and half or so of water, a little salt, some peppercorns, a bay leaf, whatever not so fresh anymore herbs I may have on hand, and a piece or two of kombu kelp (which I'm only guessing you also have on hand because I saw, but didn't read, your recipe for miso soup) to a stock pot.

3.  Bring it to a boil, turn the heat down to a low simmer, then let it go for a while--  maybe 45 minutes to an hour.  Then I just strain out the liquid and freeze it in individual containers.  Compost the leftover veggies as usual.

Hope you or someone else finds this useful!



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