(this picture has nothing to do with the post. i just like it. bees are awesome little creatures, and rW caught this one hard at work the day we picked blackberries and peaches.)
i have a pot of vegetable stock cooking on my stove right now, and the aroma is driving me mad. i know it would make a poor soup to just eat the pile of scraps that are currently in the pot, but it smells that good.
sunday at the farmer's market my favourite organic grower had beautiful carrots. they were still wearing their tops. the carrots themselves were no bigger than a finger and a beautiful ruby red color... like beets. when you bit into one, they were an electric orange color. amazing.
notice the past tense. they didn't last. but! the tops are living on in a stock*.
how to veggie stock...
in a 6 quart pot, combine...
tops of roots like carrots or beets, trimmings from your week's veggies (carrot tips, squash ends, tomato tops, scallion or onion greens, etc), any veggies past their prime (i used two orange and yellow peppers and a yellow squash), a whole bulb of garlic, two bay leaves, and a healthy dose of peppercorns.
top with enough water to cover but not overflow when the water boils.
cover and bring to a boil. once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 1 hour. salt if desired.
strain off vegetables and aromatics and allow to cool
freeze in manageable quantities.
*i, personally, would not add tops to a stock unless i knew where they came from. tops are where the pesticides are sprayed on root vegetables, and i would rather not deliberately cook pesticides into my stock . i know, i know... i can be such a hippie, but i hope to be an old hippie one day.