Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crock Pot Veggie Stock

This recipe is a great way to use up any left over, cut up veggies and herbs you have in your fridge. Simply place all the veggies and herbs in a crock pot and cover with water. Cook for at least 12 hours for a rich and thick stock. I used carrots, celery (I wish they only sold one stalk since that's always what I need, but now I found a way to use up the extra!), garlic, onion, bell pepper, lots of parsley (always have this on hand), thyme and some salt and pepper.  I think I even added a couple of bay leaves too. Why not. Use what you have and clean out that fridge! The only thing I wouldn't recommended using is potato peels - it may give it a dirty, dishwater kind of taste. Not that I know what dirty dishwater tastes like, but you know what I mean. I usually throw my peels away (not down the sink!) anyways.

This recipe makes about two and a half quarts of stock. I kept the little jar in the fridge for quick use (mmm skinny chicken salad), gave one away to my girlfriend Lauren to enjoy and put the other in the freezer for later use. I always have stock on hand for soups, stews, risotto, sauces and lots of other dishes. Once you see how easy it is to make, you won't go back to buying it at the store! 

veggies and herbs

break up the carrots and celery. no need to peel and chop.

cover with water

cover and cook on low for 12 hours

veggie stock after 12 hours

strain and place into jars or freezable containers for storage

Crock Pot Veggie Stock  

Selection of veggies to fill crock pot:
Carrots (broken in half)
Celery (broken in half)
Onions (halved)
Garlic Bulbs (halved)
Bell Pepper (broken into large pieces)
Bunch of fresh parsley
Fresh Thyme (or whatever other fresh herbs you have in your fridge)
Salt & Pepper to taste (peppercorns if you have them, ground pepper if you don't)
1-2 Bay leaves (optional)

Put all veggies and herbs into a crock pot. Add salt and pepper and bay leaves (if using). Cover everything with water. Cook with lid on for at least 12 hours. Once stock has become rich in color, strain, cool to room temperature and store stock in the fridge or freezer. Homemade stock will need to be used within 1-3 days, otherwise freeze and use within three months.

See, I told you that was easy. Dump, cover and cook. How much easier can it get then that? Not much. Also, if you are looking for a great homemade chicken stock, check out my overnight crock pot chicken stock. It's easy, yummy, and you'll be glad you have it in the freezer when you need it. Trust me. Chicken and veggie stock are a must have staple that every kitchen should have on hand.

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