Well it has finally cooled off here and first thing on my list is to make a giant pot of soup. There is nothing like a house smelling like a big batch of soup. Every year I spend tons of money on boxed vegetable stock that I'm not even sure is worth the cost. Often with boxed items they are full of salt and preservatives and when I'm using lovely, fresh, fall veggies it just seems rude to pair them with that. Well this week I ventured into making my own stock and it couldn't have been easier.
You can give or take whatever vegetables you like for this recipe but I stuck with the basics the wonderful Martha Stewart recommends. After you finish chopping everything it is very little work and then just the time to let it simmer. The house smelt amazing all day and I used some for a pasta dish for dinner, made roasted tomato soup later and froze the rest. One batch should last me most of the winter.
Homemade Vegetable Stock
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 3 quarts
1 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 bunch swiss chard
Several sprigs thyme and parsley or other herbs you prefer
1 dried bay leaf
1. In a stock pot melt the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnips and celery and cook 15 more minutes.
2. Wash the chard thoroughly and drain. Chop it into 1 inch pieces and add to the vegetable mixture.
3. Add 3 quarts plus 2 cups of filtered water, the herbs and the bay leaf to the stock pot. Bring to a boil and the reduce to a simmer. Let simmer 1 hour.
4. Remove from heat and strain stock through a mesh sieve. Make sure to press the vegetables to extract all the juices. Discard vegetables. Stock can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months (I froze mine in quarter cup portions in a muffin tin. Once they are frozen solid put them in a freezer bag and they are ready to throw in your next dish.)