Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 5: Soup 'n Stock

I love the cool fall weather. With fall, comes soups. We love soups! Big hearty bean and veg filled soups. And the base to our tasty soups starts with a nice savory stock.

Stock is very easy to make, and very quick as well. Even chasing around a toddler and nursing a 5 month old all day, I can find the time to squeeze this into our food prep. The added bonus is, once cooked it will hang around on the stove for an hour or so until you are ready to put it away. Homemade stock will taste so much better than anything you can buy at the store! If you absolutely must purchase your stock, we have had great luck trying the Trader Joe's brand low sodium veg broth.

To start with, you need the trinity of onion, carrot, and celery. We are big believers in the benefits of organic produce, so we frequent our local co-op and support our farms in our veg purchases. Excitingly enough, shallots have arrived-I threw some in with the onions when I started this stock.
Sauteed in a quick drizzle of olive oil, we like to let them cook low and slow to really darken the pieces up!
This is the chopping board where I cut up the onion, and celery and carrots. Once the onions are good and caramelized, in go the celery and carrot. Some minced garlic is also a nice addition-add it toward the end so it doesn't burn.
After they cook for a bit and soften up, I add about 8 or 10 cups of water, depending on my mood.

Peppercorns and bay leaves added! At this point I cover it up and let it come to a boil. Then I let it simmer for about an hour. The result is a tasty, delicious soup stock I could drink on its own! Just strain and drain. Be sure to press all the good juices out of the solids in the strainer before tossing them in the compost.
Stock makes a great base for our soups, such as this minestrone we threw together to use up odds and ends in the pantry-all organic kale, kidney and white beans, orzo pasta, and frozen peas.I will top this liberally with our homemade raw parm mix (hiding in the stainless steel shaker there!) and happily slurp up this and a second helping! Store your extra stock in the fridge for quick weeknight cooking.

You may note that we don't add any sort of salt to our broth. We like to wait until making the final soup to add some sea salt in. Also, there are many more veggies that could be added to your stock-this is sort of a quick basic one for us. Try leeks, potato, celeriac, mushrooms, anything in your fridge! Most importantly, have fun with it!


Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Such a great post!

Andrea said...

I agree that a big pot of soup simmering on the stove makes the grayest day seem a little better.