Take stock of your Vegetables

I have not yet found a ready made vegetable stock that tastes like vegetables.
But then, really, what I wanted was a more neutral broth to sip on.
I love chicken stock, easy to make, nutritious and good for you.
Beef stock I have a harder time making.
I never quite get the deep, rich, beefy flavor that good organic stocks do.
So vegetable stock it is.

Yes, I know I am using the word “stock” and “broth” as the same finished product, and I know they’re not the same thing.

Cleaning out the ‘fridge Veggie Stock
1 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil
2 tomatoes
1 or 2 onions
2 large carrots
1 zucchini
3 or 4 ribs of celery
2 cups raw spinach
4 or 5 radishes (cut a slice off each one and taste to make sure they’re not too bitter, if they are don’t use them)
2 coves garlic
several sprigs of fresh parsley (wilted is fine)
½ tsp sea salt
couple of peppercorns
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
dried marjoram, thyme or whatever else you like
8 cups water
2 Tablespoons unflavored gelatin (Knox is fine if you can’t get the “organic, grass fed kind)*

Chop all the veggies approximately the same size.
Don’t be fussy, there won’t be a test later, and they will be cooked to mush anyway.
You can even leave the skins on everything if it’s clean.
Warm the oil in a deep pan and saute the all the veggies EXCEPT the tomatoes and spinach for 8-10 minutes.
You want a little brown on them, but not much. Add everything else and bring to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the lid, raise the heat and boil the dickens out of it for 10 minutes.
Taste. Add a little more salt if needed.
Let cool until it’s “warm enough to drink”, then pour through a strainer to remove all the solids.
Take out 1 cup of the broth and add the gelatin, then use a whisk or immersion blender to blend it thoroughly into the liquid, then stir into the rest of the stock and allow it to cool to room temp before refrigerating.
Let chill completely for the gelatin to set and it will be thick but not like jell-o.
Will keep about a week, refrigerated and covered tightly.
*The gelatin adds some body to the broth. If you don’t want that texture, leave it out.

Bonus recipe: simple garlic paste

20 cloves of garlic, peeled (about 2 heads)
3 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree everything until smooth.
Makes about 1/2 cup of garlic paste that will keep for about 2 weeks, refrigerated.

**On a lot of low-carb, paleo and primal forums, the need for salt is being discussed in detail. The gist of it is that, when you’re not eating a lot of processed foods, you’re salt intake is greatly reduced.
To counter this, many sites do suggest making your own stock or broth and using up to 1 tablespoon of (sea) salt in a 6-8 cup batch.
I personally find this to be overly salty, especially once the salt reduces, so I prefer to start much lower so I can add salt to my individual serving as I want it.

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