I have a confession. I've been collecting trash, vegetable trash to be exact. Normally, I'll cut up an onion and toss the scraps away. The same goes for vegetables slightly past their prime, like limp celery stalks. But I hate to waste anything. Someday I will compost, but until then I decided to repurpose these veggies into homemade vegetable stock. I usually buy a few cartons of organic vegetable stock at the market each week, but it's certainly more economical and less wasteful to make it myself. I've been tucking away these limp celery stalks, along with carrot shavings and onion scraps in a bag in my freezer. At the moment, I'm cooking a good deal of asparagus, so there's plenty of asparagus ends in this batch. You'll be amazed at how quickly the scraps accumulate. Just be sure they're clean before adding to your bag.
Once my freezer bag was about three quarters of the way full, I added it's contents to my biggest pot, along with some whole peppercorns, a generous amount of sea salt, bay leaves, and a few cloves of smashed garlic. As you can see, it's not rocket science. It's pretty imprecise. I covered it all with water, brought it up to a boil, and simmered it for about an hour or so, covered. Just be sure it has cooked long enough to remove any bitterness. Taste the stock and adjust the seasonings if you need to. I strained the liquid from the vegetables, which left me with a dark, rich, amber stock I can now use in soups, risotto, stir fry, and anything else I cook during the week. Earlier this week I made a batch of French onion soup with some of my stock. Do any of you make your own stock from scraps? I'd be curious to hear your methods. I'm glad I discovered this before my CSA starts. It's a true trash to treasure scenario.