Homemade stock adds richness, flavor, and nutrients to soups and stews and they are easy to make. Just throw vegetables and herbs in a pot of water and let them simmer. Homemade stock will last about a week in the refrigerator or for months in the freezer. Freeze in 1- or 2-cup-size containers so you can thaw only the amount needed for a recipe. Stock can also be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred to freezer bag or container.
Stock can be made from fresh or cooked vegetables and even peels from potatoes. Strong-flavored vegetables like cabbage or broccoli should be used only in small amounts as they may overpower the stock. Fresh herbs can be added for more flavor.
3 onions, cut into thick slices
2 cloves garlic, sliced
5 stalks celery, cut into thirds
6 carrots (about 1 pound), cut into thirds
2 cups potato peels (from organic potatoes only)
1 bunch parsley stems
2 bay leaves
1 strip kombu
3 quarts cold water
Place all ingredients in large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove from heat and let stock sit for 30 minutes. Strain broth through large sieve. Cool stock quickly by placing pot of stock in sink full of ice water. When lukewarm, refrigerate or freeze stock.
Makes about 3 quarts
Variation: Use parsnips or turnips in place of some of the carrots if you have them. You can also use 4 leeks instead of the onions.