This is a super simple and super easy recipe, but it does take about 3 hours (mostly inactive) from start to finish so plan to make it while multi-tasking a Game Of Thrones marathon. The aroma will even make your feel like you’re right there in the kitchen of kings and queens.
Let’s get started:
4 cups veggie pulp (leftovers from a juicer… can be frozen or fresh)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
10-12 cups water
Fresh and/or dried herbs (I like bay leaf, oregano, fresh basil, parsley and thyme… get creative, get weird, use anything)
1/2 Tbsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 Large stock pot (for cooking)
Medium size pot or pitcher (for straining out the liquid)
A fine mesh sieve (samesies) (THIS IS KEY!)
Ice cube trays [optional] (these are for freezing stock into cubes so they’re easier to use later)
Funnel or Pitcher or Both (for pouring)
Start by putting your stock pot on medium heat and toss in the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, toss in your veggie pulp and sauteé for a few minutes. If you’re using frozen pulp, either thaw it first, or break the large frozen chunks down while sauteéing and expect to add a few minutes to that cook time.
I also like to toss in the odds and ends I keep in the freezer from previously chopped veggies like carrot nubs and broccoli stalks, and I usually try to get a bit of onion scrap in there for extra flavor. All optional, but it’s a good way to put these scraps to use instead of tossing them out.
Next add your herbs, your salt and pepper, and your water and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil (takes about 15-20 mins) and then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours, or until the liquid is reduced to about a third of what you started with and the mixture looks like seaweed-colored oatmeal. Sounds delicious, right? See below the stock after simmering for 30 minutes, 1 hour and 2 hours (complete).
Once the stock is reduced, LET COOL for at least 15 minutes before straining. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll burn yourself trying to maneuver it, which in turn will make you thrash around, knock over the pot, and watch 3 hours of work bleed green all over your kitchen floor. Not that that’s happened… yet.
So, now that the mixture is cooled, break out you pot that you will strain the liquid into. The sturdier the better here since it’s easy to knock around the pot in the straining process.
Working in batches, spoon the mixture (about a cup at a time) into your fine mesh sieve above your catch pot and press the liquid through with a solid wooden or plastic spoon. A good quality sieve is important to ensure only the liquid comes through and none of the mush or all your hard work will be for not. Press long and hard because even when you think there’s nothing left, a little more flavor-filled liquid gold will come trickling out.
After you’ve extracted all the liquid, you can either freeze it in a plastic tub, or do what I do and freeze it into ice-cube trays. I like big square ones because they’re a more reasonable size for what you’ll end up using in recipes, and because they’re more tidy and prettier and we all know that pretty food tastes better.
If you’re going with trays, and are super image-conscious like me, opt for a funnel or pitcher for pouring. If you’re not compulsive and don’t care, then good on ya.
The cubes take about an hour to freeze since there’s olive oil in the mix and will melt a little quickly when you transfer them to plastic bags so plan to get a little messy during that bit.
Now pop those bad boys in the freezer and start planning your next soup to use them in! Or you can do like I do and pop 3-4 cubes in a mug and nuke it for a minute for a quick mug of delicious, hard-earned, soul-warming, broth.