Thursday, December 17, 2009
First off, I apologize that I did not get to this earlier. There is one more night of Chanukkah, and I wanted to have a good vegetable stock posted so you would have enough time to cook and enough soup throughout the holidays. I was feeling a little under the weather, so I slacked off a little. It's alright though, because soup is satisfying anytime.....it's probably my favorite food, and this recipe will give you enough to make now and freeze for later. You can use a good vegetable stock for almost anything! You can make a nice Pho... which is a vietnamese soup... and the vegan version is called Pho Chay (Pho is actually a beef or chicken soup with Pho noodles, but Pho Chay was actually created for the buddhist temple since they do not eat meat). Vegetable stock can used to make any noodle soup, a miso, a curry, a Thai Tom Yum, a mushroom and barely soup, or even to cook couscous or saute vegetables... the options are endless!
You will need: Cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, stock pot
20 cups filtered water
3 yellow onions, roughly cut, skin on
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 carrots (large/med), roughly cut, peeled
3 parsnips, peeled, roughly chopped
3 medium turnips, roughly chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup dill - loosely chopped
1 cup parsley - loosely chopped
6-8 springs thyme
a handful of basil leaves
4 bay leaves
Chop up all of the vegetables. They can be chopped in large pieces, so there is no need to spend time chopping many pieces or worrying about making them look pretty. In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes on medium heat. I learned this from Post Punk Kitchen. Cooking the onion and garlic first really does help to bring out the onion flavor, and leaving the skin on the onion gives the soup a fabulous golden color. When you are finished, add all other vegetables and fresh herbs, and bring to a boil. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and let simmer for an hour and a half, uncovered.
Let broth cool until it's an okay temperature to handle. Strain into a large bowl or pot with cheese cloth or a very fine mesh strainer. Press the vegetables with a gentle but firm pressure to get all the moisture out. Using the cheese cloth is easier. Just keep squeezing until you get all of the juices out from the vegetables to get a savory stock. Then discard veggies, and keep enough stock in your fridge that you will use up to 3 days, and freeze the rest.
A good vegetable stock is something that can be a a little time consuming to make, but that's why you make so much at once... so you always have it on hand. It's way better than using the store bought ones because then you end up with a broth loaded with sodium, msg, or "flavoring". However, I use store bought stock a lot, and there are some decent ones if you take the time to read the ingredients, but you still don't get away with a preservative free one! You can add other vegetables such as mushrooms, kale, or other seasonings for a deeper flavor. You can really add anything that is in your fridge so that it doesn't go bad and get wasted. Anyways, I ended up making a two-noodle soup with kasha and vegetables for Chanukkah instead of matzoh ball soup. I didn't have the motivation to make homemade matzoh balls this year, but I will eventually! I hope you enjoy!