I’ve been cooking for a long time and until now had never made a bona fide vegetable stock. Yikes. I make chicken stock and use dried mushroom stock or plain water as a base for many dishes, but never a vegetable stock. I once experienced store bought stock that looked murky and terrible and I guess that was it, end of story. Until now. Jerry Traunfeld has saved my culinary behind a few times before and he, his cookbook, came through once again.
His Golden Vegetable Stock is straight forward, using vegetables that are available locally most of the year and some that I have in the backyard. It’s a gorgeous stock that gives us reason to save more of those vegetable pieces that we toss into compost. Not just flotsam and jetsam, there’s life in those tidbits and a way to diminish our guilt for their tossing. This is Traunfeld’s basic recipe with a few additions. He encourages that. Use what you have he says in his notes, add or diminish according to your own taste and what’s floating around in the fridge or freezer, but do it in small amounts for a balanced and light flavor. I added a couple of tablespoons of dried porcini mushrooms which was a little too much, and a tablespoon of last summer’s sun dried sungolds.
Make it, freeze it, use it whenever a recipe calls for stock. Use it in risotto, polenta, an herb or asparagus soup, a hot drink . . . Spring Chive & Sorrel Soup.
Golden Vegetable Stock Recipe
From The Herbfarm Cookbook, Jerry Traunfeld
Ingredients: 1 large leek, cut lengthwise, rinsed and then coarsely chopped/ 1 medium onion, 1 medium carrot, 2 ribs of celery, 1 wedge green cabbage, 1 medium turnip, 6 large white button mushrooms, stalks from 1 fennel bulb, all coarsely chopped/ 2 cloves garlic, smashed/ 1 medium bunch parsley/ 6 4-inch sprigs of English or lemon thyme/ 4 fresh or 2 dried bay laurel leaves/ 4 quarts cold water
Directions: Place all ingredients in a large pot, including additional vegetables of your own choosing, cover with the water and bring to a slow simmer/ Add only a small amount of salt, if any, so that seasoning can be adjusted later as needed/ Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour/ Strain stock through a fine-meshed colander, pressing down on solids in order to extract every delicious drop of stock/ Divide into quart batches, or smaller/ Keep in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Meatless Mondays? Bring it on.