Vegetable stock



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Vegetable Stock

These quantities are approximate; some keep scraps of vegetables (the trimmings and ends of carrots, onions and celery, potato peelings, etc.) in the freezer and pull them out when it’s time to make stock, but you can always start with fresh veggies. The onion skins will add a richer color to your stock. If garlic isn’t your thing, leave it out.

Ingredients:
5 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half horizontally (optional)
Peelings from 1-2 potatoes
Small handful fresh cilantro (optional)
Small handful flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
1 tsp. (5 mL) black peppercorns
4 quarts (4 L) water

Directions:
Set a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and cool.

Freeze your stock in tightly sealed containers or freezer bags, or fill muffin pans with stock, freeze them, and pop out the frozen stock like ice cubes. Store the frozen cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Roasted Vegetable Stock

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. (250 g) Portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled
A small handful of fresh parsley
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine or water
1/2 of a 14 oz. (398 mL) can crushed tomatoes
2 quarts (2 L) water
Salt and pepper (whole peppercorns if you have them) to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss all the vegetables and garlic with the olive oil in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with parsley and thyme. Roast in the oven, stirring once or twice, for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are golden.

Set the roasting pan over two of the burners on your stove and add a little of the wine or water to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the flavorful browned bits that have stuck to the bottom. Pour the rest of the wine or water into the pot and add the tomatoes, remaining 2 quarts of water, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain it through a fine sieve and cool.

Freeze your stock in tightly sealed containers or freezer bags, or fill muffin pans with stock, freeze them, and pop out the frozen stock like ice cubes. Store the frozen cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer.


Reprinted with permission from Starting Out, by Julie Van Rosendaal (Whitecap Books)

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