Making your own vegetable stock is incredibly simple and uses up ingredients you would otherwise be throwing away. In an effort to make your kitchen as low-waste as possible, this is a great way to get the most from your veg.
Food waste bins are a good way to minimise landfill, as food decomposes a hell of a lot faster when surrounded by other natural matter than it does when it’s in a big mound of plastic, but not everyone has access to one and if you haven’t got a garden to make compost in it can be tricky to reduce your waste.
To start with, set up a bowl in your kitchen and throw in all your vegetable peelings. The size of your household and how many vegetables you cook with will alter how many scraps you end up with but whatever amount you have can be frozen in a container or reusable sandwich bag and added to throughout the week.
- 1 onion, unpeeled, quartered
- 2 carrots, unpeeled and cut into large, rough chunks
- 2 sticks celery, cut into large, rough chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, crushed with the side of a knife
- 1-2 bunches herbs of your choice, left whole, preferably fresh thyme and parsley but use whatever you fancy/have
- 1.5 litres water or enough to cover all your veg and fill a pan of your choice
Great vegetable scraps to use and freeze:
- Cabbage ends
- Broccoli and cauliflower stalks and leaves
- Pepper cores
- Spring onion ends
- Celery leaves and bases
- Carrot tops, tails and peels
- Onion and garlic skins
- Scraps of any other veggies, whack them in!
- Throw all of your ingredients and frozen scraps into a deep saucepan and cover with the water. Season as much as you would like or not at all. Bring to the boil and then simmer partially covered for 1.5-2.5 hours, the longer the better. Season if you like but this is not essential – I sometimes add a pinch of peppercorns in to give it a bit of punch.
- Take off the heat and remove the big chunks of veg with a slotted spoon and discard. Strain the rest of the stock through a fine sieve. It should have a good, relatively dark colour from the onion skins.
- Store in a sealed jar or container of your choice in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for later. Use to make delicious soup, rice dishes, ramen and the ultimate veggie gravy!