I routinely stuff chicken carcasses in plastic bags and stuff them in my freezer for stock-making; I do the same with shrimp shells, so I can make fish stock. Why I’ve never thought of saving the scraps from vegetables and doing the same thing is beyond me.
Last week, I was reading a La Cucina di Terresa blog post about making ravioli with carrot tops by Theresa Murphy, who also lives in Paris and gives cooking classes on vegetarian and organic cuisine, and at the bottom, there it was – the note about saving veggie bits and pieces and making stock.
I’m going through LOTS of veggies these days, testing this and that, and it took me about four days to completely fill up a gallon-size plastic bag with carrot peels, tops of green onions, potato peelings, stalks from broccoli and cauliflower, ends of zucchini and I can’t even remember what else.
When I couldn’t stuff one more thing into the bag, I figured it was time to make stock.
All I did was put all of the scraps in a large stockpot, add 3 bay leaves, about 12 peppercorns, some fresh thyme and basil from my little herb garden, and fill it up with water. I let this come to a boil and then turned the heat down, took the cover off, and let the stock reduce for a couple of hours.
Then, I just lined a mesh strainer with cheesecloth, and poured the stock through. That’s what’s in the jar (above).
After that, feeling super-smart and thrifty, I puréed the veggies and pressed the mixture through the mesh strainer (this would be much easier with a food mill, but my food mill, alas, apparently ran off with my ravioli maker awhile back and the two of them have not been heard from since), and ended up with two bowls of beautiful veggie soup as a bonus.
Now I’ve got veggie stock in the freezer for the next time I make soup. Love it.
Save your scraps, people!