Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HOMEMADE VEGETABLE STOCK



I thought I'd start by giving a recipe that is a staple in my kitchen. This vegetable stock is based on one I found on the Food Network web site by Bobby Flay. I simmer it slowly but not for more than 30 minutes - I find that vegetable stocks cooked longer and at higher heats can tend to develop a kind of cloying taste. The garlic chives are optional but since they are taking over my yard I like to use them in this recipe.

Makes 2 quarts of stock

2 quarts water
3 carrots, cut into 2" pieces (no need to peel)
1 large onion, quartered (no need to peel)
3 stalks celery, cut into 2" piece
3 cloves garlic, cut in half (no need to peel)
10 whole peppercorns
5 stalks Italian parsley
handful garlic chives (optional)
3 bay leaves
Salt to taste (I usually don't salt this so I never have to worry about oversalted soups.)

Put all ingredients in a large stockpot. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes.




On the stock cools I strain it and fill up old clean mayonnaise jars. (I'm trying to reduce the use of plastics in my kitchen and haven't yet ordered some fancier glass containers.) This stock will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen but in that case I probably would use plastic containers.

I use this stock all the time and it really is great for quick main dish soups like the Thai green curry soup shown below. This simple soup contains my homemade vegetable broth, some Trader Joe's Thai Green Curry Simmer Paste, rice noodles, whatever green vegetables I can find, and diced browned tofu. I topped it with fresh cilantro and lime slices.


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