Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kitchen Basics - Vegetable Stock Concentrate

Recently I had dinner at the home of my darling Aunty and she made a lovely soup using homemade stock concentrate (frozen into cubes) which I thought was a great idea! Because I know that the little containers of powdered stock from the supermarket are packed full of preservatives and sodium. Even the liquid stocks now available aren't exactly good for you. So the thought that stock was easy to make got me very interested!

After looking through scores of recipes on the internet and doing a bit of experimenting, I've come to the conclusion that I'll never buy stock again because it is so easy-peasy to make! Not to mention healthy and convenient.

Many recipes for stock concentrate include between 100g-200g of salt to preserve the stock (for storage in the fridge) but my Aunty recommends making it without the salt and simply freezing it.

So this is a simple recipe to make vegetable stock concentrate (so no need to fuss about with chicken carcasses and beef marrow bones!) which is suitable for the freezer.

Vegetable Stock Concentrate
Makes 36 ice cubes

2 tspn oil (any type!)
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 large sticks of celery, finely diced
3 small carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
1 tomato, diced
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 sage leaves
1 small handful of fresh parsley (stalks and leaves), chopped (or I prefer to snip mine with kitchen scissors)

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add all the veggies and herbs, stir it well, then clamp the lid on the saucepan and let the mixture stew for about 20 minutes (you may need to stir it occassionally to stop it from sticking on the bottom of the saucepan) or until everything is very soft and pulpy.

Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes then throw it all into a blender and blitz until it becomes a smooth paste.

Spoon tablespoons of stock into ice cube trays and freeze! When you need some stock, simply take a cube out of the freezer and dissolve it in the required amount of water.

Note 1: Use one stock cube per cup (250mL) of water.

Note 2: You should be able to use any veggies you have knocking about the veggie crisper - a few florets of broccoli or cauliflower, parsnips, leeks, etc. The only thing I'd steer clear of are starchy vegetables like potatoes.


The Happy Whisk said...

Hi. Nice to meet you.

I love making homemade stocks, as well. They are so yummy and easy to store. I store mine in 1C and 2C freezer containers. Then during the week, I use them for rices, sauces and gravy.

Love having stock on-hand.

Happy Cooking :-)

The Recipe Binder said...

This was my first foray into stock but you're right, it's so good to have on hand! And I love knowing exactly what's in it (unlike certain other stocks...)

Alessandra Groh said...

Hello, I have a question, are the vegetables cooked? Should I add water to the pot? Then drain or maintain and hit the blender together? Thank you in advance I loved the recipe.

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