Hey everyone, me and Scott and will now be in New York! It’s our first time here and we have a long list of things we want to do so I’m sure we’ll be super busy running around having fun. Here is the second installment from my mum 🙂 I always use a stock cube for convenience but I’ve never actually looked at what is in the ingredients and I agree they are very salty so I can’t wait to get back and try this for myself!
I always love to cook and create meals for Becky as I find her such a willing supper guest and while we eat she wants to know everything that is in the meal and how I made it. So when she joined us this year for Christmas in France, I went to my usual effort and one of the discussions that came up were the merits of using a home made vegetable stock. Now, I love to make stock, whether chicken or meat, fish or vegetable and I follow some simple steps to achieve this.
So, I thought, I wander if it would be helpful to write this guest post about my basic plan for making vegetable stock and then use it in my ‘Throw In The Pan’ soup.
Generally people are so busy these days that using a stock cube speeds up the process of making a meal but often the meal then has a salty and synthetic flavour.
A homemade stock, however, takes 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to quietly simmer while you are doing something else. Then it can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
For the stock I generally include, if I can, these basic ingredients listed below;
Onion – quartered
Carrots – chunks
Leeks – thick sliced
Celery – thick sliced
Garlic – 2 or 3 depending on size, sliced
Bay leaves – 2 or 3
Dried thyme -1 teaspoon
Lots of parsley and parsley stalks (flat leafed)
1 ½ litres of water with teaspoon of salt added
4fl oz of white cooking wine
And black peppercorns (maybe 8 or 10)
As for quantities it varies depending on the size of the vegetables but do try and include 1 or 2 of each.
To make the stock simply put all the ingredients in a pan, except the wine, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and put on a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes add 4 floz of white wine, check the seasoning and adjust but do not add too much salt because this can be adjusted with your final soup dish.
Strain the stock and discard the flavourings.
I ended up with 1 litre of stock which I then used for the soup mentioned below.
So now the stock is ready I can make my Throw in the Pan soup, which uses basic soup making techniques. From this you will be able to make any soup with whatever veggies you have to hand although of course some combinations will work better than others.
For this soup I went to the market and bought some vegetables specifically for this post (see above) so the Ingredients I used were –
A celery stick plus leaves
A sweet potato
A couple of garlic cloves
A big bunch of parsley (flat leafed)
Carrots – about 7 medium sized
Olive oil (1-2 tblspn) and a knob of butter
A handful of nettles
I was reading somewhere that there are no rules when it comes to soup making. However I follow some basic rules which involves 4 stages;
1) Dice the vegetables and sauté in hot oil and butter for 10 minutes until softened. Stir often.
2) Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and cover pan. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes.
3) Add a handful of chopped parsley or herb of choice and season to taste.
If you are on a diet you can scrap the oil and butter and soften the vegetables in a small quantity of vegetable stock.
I really hope this post inspires at least one person to make their own vegetable stock and/or soup because it is fun and very easy and so much tastier than shop bought.