Homemade stock is an easy and delicious way to use up vegetable scraps. Not only that, but it's the perfect base to any soup and ideal to have on hand during cooler months.
If you have the remains of a roast chicken, a chicken carcass, or beef or
pork bones on hand these will work great to enrich your stock. If you'd prefer to stick to vegetables, that works too!
What you'll need: Onions, celery, carrots, parsley stems, peppercorns, and a lot of water. An easy way to have stock ingredients on hand is to keep a bag in the freezer with any carrot peels and ends, celery trimmings, herb stems, leek tops, onion peels and extra pieces, garlic ends, mushroom stems, any trimming from these types of vegetables can be saved. You can also use an onion cut in half, whole carrots, and any fresh celery (the root end works well!) - use what you have on hand. Avoid citrus as it will make the stock bitter and cruciferous vegetables like (broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage) will add a sulphuric smell.
Cover the bones and vegetables with at least 4 inches of water, you'll want to use a big pot for this. Bring the water up to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface (this is normal) early on, it will look foamy. Leave the pot simmering for at least two hours (vegetable stock will be done in about this time), but ideally for at least four hours over low heat. If using bones, add more water and keep the stock on the stove as long as you can, this will create a much richer stock. Ideally it can sit on the stove simmering all day, just add more water as needed to keep the ingredients covered. Skim the fat off the top with a ladle as it forms.
Strain the stock, season with salt to taste, and keep in the fridge or freezer.