Total price: NY $0.00
Price per cup: NY $0.00
Remember that old kid's story about making soup from a stone? While the moral of the Stone Soup story is about sharing even when you don't have a lot and the value of community, I also always think of it as meaning "to make something from nothing." As they're now apparently predicting that unemployment is going to rise to nearly 10% by year's end (GASP!), making something out of nothing seems all the more timely.
As some of you have noticed, we make a lot of soups around here. In one of our most recent posts the most expensive ingredient was not the ravioli, the red pepper or the zucchini but the chicken stock! Considering that stock can be made at home from kitchen scraps, and that the cheaper store-bought broths are frequently criticized as being little more than salted water, that just seems like throwing money out the window. (Which, as you can imagine, we're not big fans of around here.) If we'd instead used homemade chicken stock from scrap, the cost per bowl for the Chicken Ravioli Soup recipe would have been a mere NY $0.88!
Thus, our quest to make stocks at home was born. We decided to start small, with veggie stock. (I don't know about you, but carcasses are something I need to work my way up to.) The result was less salty and more complex than broth from a can or box. (As you can see from the photos, the broth was also much darker in color than store-bought.) And it all came from items that we otherwise would have discarded. Ergo, "Stone Stock"!
- 1 gallon freezer bag or container full of vegetable scraps
- 2 bay leaves (staple)
- Several whole peppercorns (staple)
- Several dashes turmeric (staple)
- Onion peels (but not the papery skins or ends)
- Parsley stems
- A bunch of carrots that were close to turning
- Eggplant trimmings
- Red pepper trimmings (not the stems, but we did include the
- seeded core)
- Zucchini trimmings
- Celery leaves and stems
- Green pepper trimmings (ditto red pepper)
- Yellow squash trimmings
- A tiny bit of tomato trimmings
- Potato peels (well scrubbed)
- Basil stems
You toss in almost any vegetable and herb scraps. Go easy on any broccoli, tomato, asparagus, cauliflower, brussels sprouts or cabbages as these can overpower the flavor. Dump your veggies out into a soup pot, and add enough water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Strain soup: pour out into a bowl through a sieve. Press down on the solids in the sieve lightly to extract all remaining liquid. Discard solids. Stock can be stored for future use by refrigerating or freezing.
Inspired by the many wonderful posts out there on making vegetable stock from kitchen, well, refuse.
Information omitted as this will vary depending on what you include. In general though, vegetable broth is very low calorie, fat free and should be chock full 'o' vitamins.