Stock is an essential component to every chef’s kitchen, but unlike meat, chicken, and fish stocks that require specific ingredients, there isn’t any fast set rule to making vegetable stock. Whatever is on hand will usually suffice. A standard stock consists of carrots, celery, onion, tomato, a sachet of fresh or dry herbs, a clove of garlic, a few peppercorns, bay leaf and a dash of salt. While I’m chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables, I maintain a refuse bowl that will become the starting ingredients of my vegetable stock. This was something my mother did. And as the saying goes, like mother, like daughter. It doesn’t take any more effort to repurpose these cuttings and peelings by adding a few herbs, spices, some water, and simmer them for 15-20 minutes than it does to throw them out, which by the way, is food-cost dollars going to waste and nutrients being tossed. Instead, I add it to food. And usually, before I’m done with my kitchen project, the stock is ready to be strained and poured into ice-cube trays and frozen. This way, I always have plenty of stock on hand when making rice, soups, stews, deglazing a pan, or anything that requires added water. And since I’m making it, I control what goes into it and the level of sodium that, today, is so often overloaded in store-bought stocks.
Collect cuttings and place them in a saucepan. Add additional carrots and onion, some herbs, spices, bay leaf, and fill to the top with water.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain liquid and discard cooked vegetables.
Pour into ice-cube trays and freeze. Remove from trays and store in a plastic bag and keep in the freezer. FYI: Each cube averages 1-Tbsp of liquid. 16-cubes=1-cup