After the weather cooling down and getting an awesome new air conditioner, I have felt like being in the kitchen so I am starting to restock my homemade staples, like cooked beans and vegetable broth, even though my pantry cleanse isn’t over until Sunday.
There are many reasons I make a lot of my own pantry staples. The biggest reason is when I make staple ingredients, I can portion them in amounts that make sense for a solitary cook. So many ingredients come in portions that are just too much for a solitary cook, leading to a lot of food waste. Did you know, according to Wise Geek.com, the average person throws away a 1/3 of the food they buy in a year? This is roughly a loss of 400 dollars a year. I don’t know about you but I have better things to do with my money than throw it away.
Mark Bittman’s Fast and Flavorful Vegetable Broth from VB6 is my go to recipe when I want to make broth. In spite of a rather long ingredient list, it is quick to put together because you just wash everything, rough chop it and throw it into the pot. When it is cool, I pour one cup portions into snack size baggies, seal and freeze flat.
Fast and Flavorful Vegetable Stock
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 lb button mushrooms, trimmed but left whole
4 (or more) whole garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, or a big pinch of dried
1 tsp whole peppercorns
4 bay leaves
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
black pepper, to taste
Combine everything in a big pot with 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and adjust the heat to about medium low so the mixture bubbles steadily but gently. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. If you have the time, let it simmer for an hour, the flavor will deepen and improve. Yield: about 10 cups
Adapted from VB6