For whatever reason, vegetable stock has been difficult to obtain in Spain. Not every grocery store carries it, and generally I can’t be bothered to make a trip on the metro just to get a carton of vegetable water. So I started toying with the idea of making my own.
I cook with vegetables a lot, although I am certainly not a vegetarian, I make my best effort to make about 90% of my meals plant-based. When cooking with a hefty amount of vegetables, one tends to produce a lot of organic plant scraps. Everything from the stems of broccoli, carrot shavings, chunks of onion with the skin on, the green part from leeks, potato skins and everything in between was just going in the garbage. I realized that this was wasteful and nonsense, I could get more use out of these scraps AND alleviate the headache I would get from going three stops on the metro just to buy a box of vegetable stock to make some soups with.
To collect the scraps on meal-prep days, just put a big pot in the sink. While peeling and tossing, instead of looking at the garbage can, throw it in the pot!
Add water and boil it. Add salt and pepper to season it if desired. I also added a few chopped up cloves of garlic to add extra flavor.
I let mine sit on medium heat for about 3 hours to really try to extract all the flavor from the scraps. Then I used a slotted ladle to get out the big chunks of vegetables before pouring the broth into a jar through a strainer to get the smaller bits.
Vegetable stock isn’t really all that expensive, so I wouldn’t classify making it at home as part of a plan to save lots of money on basic cooking expenses, but it does help to minimize waste and maximize product created from what I buy anyway.
There’s a lot we can do to make what we buy go even further. And it’s a very easy thing to make and freeze for later cooking ventures.