This post could also be entitled: “The Most Frugal Thing that I Do.”
I don’t know about you, but in our house, we sure eat a lot of vegetables during Lent. And soups. And just about any combination of the two. Many of those soups call for vegetable stock to add flavor to the broth. Now, vegetable stock is only a couple of dollars per carton (though it could be more expensive if you purchase organic), but it still bothered me to pay money for something that was mostly water.
That’s when I discovered the brilliant, and old-fashioned, idea of making homemade vegetable stock. This is what our penny-pinching grandmothers, babushkas, and yiayias had been doing for years, but what our convenience-driven culture had forgotten.
How do you make homemade vegetable stock? You simply add water to leftover scraps of vegetables and boil.
If you are like me and require a more detailed explanation, then keep reading!
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Stock
1. Keep a gallon Ziploc bag in the freezer for any leftover vegetable scraps.
If I peel carrots, I add the peelings and ends to the bag. Onion ends also work well, as do the ends or middle stalks of celery. I’ve added green beans, the green tops of green onions, middle portions of leeks, and ends of garlic. However, I would not use any mushy or seedy vegetables (the inside of tomatoes, zucchini, etc.).
2. Once the freezer bag is full, dump the bag into a slow cooker.
3. Add salt and dried or fresh herbs to taste.
4. Then, simply cover with water and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
5. Next, strain the scraps, leaving the broth. Add more salt or herbs as desired.
6. Finally, you can freeze the vegetable stock in a Ziploc bag for up to 6 months or keep it in the fridge for a week. Pull it out, and you’re ready to cook your favorite soup or stew!
I love knowing exactly what is in my vegetable stock (no added flavorings or chemicals, thank you!).
Best of all, this is literally free. You don’t get much more frugal than that!
What is the most frugal thing that you do?