Making your own homemade stock is a great way to use up leftover food, and while it does take some serious stovetop time, it's actually very easy to make.
Stock makes use of scraps and leftovers that you'd have to throw out otherwise, so it's not only economical, it's also eco-friendly. So skip the store bought stuff and make your own homemade stock to use in your next recipe.
When you make stock, you may as well make a big pot full! But keep in mind that your stock can be frozen so it's ready any time you need! It can make a great base for soups, but you can also use it in any recipe that would call for broth or water. Freeze in ice cube trays for small, ready to use portions...or in larger containers for soups..
You can use just about any vegetable to make stock....keep the peels on but wash the veggies first! You will be straining the stock and discarding any solids, so it won't matter if you have the skins or seeds in the mix! Strong flavored veggies like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower can overpower the flavor of the stock, so experiment and see what you like best!
The following are some great vegetables to use in stock.
Corn or corn cobs
Parsley, basil and other herb
For chicken or beef stock, use the scraps of chicken and the bones after you have cooked up the meat.
A good rule of thumb is to have about one part solid ingredients to one part water. It's a good idea to throw in a tablespoon or so of whole black peppercorns and a bay leaf or two for added flavor.
Put all of your bones and vegetables into a large pot, cover your ingredients with water, bring to a boil and let it simmer for about an hour. Remove any foam that collects on the top of the stock as it cooks. Cool the mixture and strain it to remove any pieces of vegetables or scraps. Any fat will solidify on the top of the stock and can easily be removed once it has cooled.
You now have a delicious AND super nutritious stock to use in your everyday cooking or as a base for your next soup.