Kitchen Basics : How to make vegetable stock at home

Vegan Soup Stock

I am back to base after a beautiful break in Himachal Pradesh. The memory of the cool climate, generous people and great friends I made there are going to serve as tonic for a whole year before I head back again. I am writing all about the trek on Trivial Thoughts.

So, how difficult is it to settle down to normalcy after a break? It took me two days to accept the heat waves and three to venture out. Five days later I was still dreading a trip to the kitchen. I watched over eight movies during the last week, ate out twice (which is very reasonable!) and lived solely on fresh, juicy fruits for two whole days. Now that the family is whole again – my husband and kids having returned from Bangalore – I am actually enjoying the process of cooking, though not the heat in my kitchen. I guess the magic lies in the fact that I am not cooking for myself but for others and these others are people who love to eat what I cook. Isn’t that the greatest motivation of all?

Before I left I had cleaned out my refrigerator and left it empty as I was sure P would not cook much and I was pretty much right about it. I do not know a better way of using up left over vegetables than to stock them up, literally! 😀

A day before I left I just cleaned, peeled and chopped into large chunks whatever vegetables were left in the refrigerator. These included carrots, string beans, red pepper, peas and herbs like coriander, mint and curry leaves. I also added two potatoes and three onions to the whole thing. Making stock isn’t difficult and it is something I do whenever I find a little bit of this and that leftover vegetables. It is healthy, very tasty and handy when I want a quick soup.

Recipe: Weekend vegetable stock 

Ingredients:
12-15 cups of water (I freeze them in small containers so that I use up the whole portion at one go)
Any vegetables you have but do not add excess of radish or cabbage. These have strong odours.
I used:

About 1/4kg of white pumpkin, chopped into huge chunks
2 potatoes (peeled, chopped into big chunks)
2 onions (peeled and sliced big)
3 small carrots (peeled and chopped into chunks)
1/4 of a red pepper that was left from the previous day’s cooking ( Slit into two pieces)
About 1/2 a cup of peas
1/4 of a small cabbage, leaves separated
8 sprigs of coriander – I used the stems for the stock and the leaves for garnishing another dish
Some mint (2-3 stems)
Some ginger that was left

1 table spoon of olive oil
Pink salt / Black salt / Kala namak
A few crushed black pepper corns (1/2 tsp.)

Method:

I use my cooker when I make large quantities of stock.

Boil the water and set aside.

Warm the olive oil in a large wok and saute all the pepper corn, bay leaf and the veggies till they get even coated with the oil and turn aromatic. This takes about five minutes. You will have to toss them a bit or they will burn.

Tip the sauteed vegetables into the hot water and allow to cook for about two hours in slow fire. (Somewhere between sim and medium heat). Let the water reduce to half. Adjust salt and strain through a cheese cloth or a fine meshed strainer.

Store in small containers. This will help you use up one whole container at a time and minimize spoilage.

My recipe for creamy vegan soups is very easy and quick. More about the soups soon.

BTW, if you are using my recipe for your stock you can merrily be forgetful about adding flavours to your soup. It will still be full of herbal flavours as the mint, coriander and pepper will show up their individual sensations very well in the end product.

I bought plums for a kuchen and ended up feasting on them as always!! I am turning into a fruit glut these days:). I must go and get a kilo next time so that I can get round to baking!

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Comments

Have your say

  1. Hope you had a great trip!

  2. nice! love the way you economise wisely 🙂 hate wasted vegetables.

  3. break is always good,..it makes us feel alive again,.:-)

  4. The perfect stock makes a wonderful soup!

    The Peach Kitchen
    blowing peachkisses
    peach and things

  5. Oh yes, Simran! The trip was wonderful:). Thanks:)

    Rajani, thanks girl! I like the 'wise' part immensely;).

    Priyanka, you bet! I am 100% bouncy now:)

    Right said, Peachkins!!

  6. Hope you had a great time !! Have been thinking to search this recipe for sometime… Here it is !!

  7. Hmm … Sunnymommy back to base camp, oops … kitchen. Want a detailed write up on your trip in your travellogue. 🙂
    I usually do not make stock even though I know it is a great help at times. Your 'taking' stock is going to be helpful. 🙂

  8. nice one

  9. could see from all those pics on Fb that you had a lovely time! love that idea of storing stock in single use dubbas. somehow never struck me 😉

  10. Ha, ha. I can understand the "not wanting to go back into the kitchen" syndrome! 🙂 Especially after your kinda break!
    Stock taking is a "good idea sirjee".
    Here I wasn't well and tokk a break from everything – kitchen and blog, and I'm finding it difficult to get back.

  11. Wow, this stock is amazing. The husband makes stock every week but he just boils the veggies with water, fennel seeds and black pepper. Got to send him the link.

    Lovely pictures too. Did not know one could make stock look so appetizing. 🙂

  12. I am a food blog surfer…landed up here thro blog hopping. You have a great blog. Your pictures make my mouth water…do keep writing:)
    I have a doubt-this vegetable stock can be stored in fridge freezer itself or the kind of freezer used in foreign countries?
    How long can this stock be stored? Thank you for your reply

  13. Hi Lavs, thank you:). I store this stock in 100ml tupperware containers in the freezer where I keep my ice cream etc., and not in the fridge compartment. I generally stock upto 2litres which gets over in two months but once I have had a portion left, that remained fresh for as long as 3 months. It is best to store in 100ml containers as you will be sure of finishing off that much portion without having to replace it in the freezer. If you store it all in one container, the chances of spoilage is high as you will be exposing the whole quantity to changes of temperature very often.

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