In an effort to eat less meat and more vegetables we purchased a cookbook from this vegetarian restaurant, in Madison Park, called Cafe Flora. Included in the book is this recipe, which is more like a guide, to making vegetable stock. And it is nothing like the vegetable stock you purchase at the store. It has lots of flavor. And the best part is....it's basically free. You just freeze all of your vegetable scraps until you have enough to make about 16 cups of stock.
Before I get to the ingredients there are some general guidelines:
1. If you're using organic vegetables you don't need to peel them
2. If you can't find fresh herbs, just leave them out
3. Use all of the scraps, the mushroom stems, the onion peel, etc....
4. Don't use any strong flavored vegetables (such as peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or cilantro) or anything with a distinct color (such as beets) - I tend to stick with carrots, celery, mushrooms & onions
5. Mushrooms are a must, the more, the better. They give the stock a really good flavor.
6. Freeze the stock in the amounts you want to use i.e. I freeze mine in 2 cup containers
1 gallon bag of frozen vegetables
6 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
Sprigs of rosemary
Sprigs of thyme
Sprigs of oregano
2 bay leaves
Little bit of salt
Put all of the ingredients into a large pot. Cover with 41⁄2 quarts of water and add a bit of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and then simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Makes about 16 cups.
Adapted from Catherine Geier's, CAFE FLORA COOKBOOK