For the first time in recent memory I have a Sunday off.
It’s a gorgeous, sunny fall day outside. We went out and had a bit of breakfast but other than that Im spending the day inside puttering around. I even had a short nap in the middle of the day! Sunday naps are the greatest things. The chilly breeze coming in from the open window makes being under the covers feel extra comfortable, with the sun streaming in to warm up my feet. So nice.
After my nap I had some tea and cookies. Jealous?
THEN I did my second favourite thing to do on a chilly fall day. MAKE STOCK! God I love making stock. It is like magic. It makes me feel like a witch, to fill a pot with grubby old bits of veggies and animal bones and onion skins and dirty little mushrooms and end up with this delicious smelling bowl of pure nutrients.
Read more over here!
Usually I save all the veggie scraps from dinners in a bag in the freezer and pull it out whenever I grab a bag of bones. Today I had some veggies getting squidgy and a bag of bones in the freezer. I like to stuff it all into a pot, fill it with just enough water to cover the bones and throw in whatever I have laying around. The best things are celery, carrots and onions. As many as different kinds of onion you have, paper and all. But I also love to stick in the cut offs from leeks and the seeds and bits from bell peppers. The only things that I leave out of a soup stock are tomatoes, spinach, asparagus and garlic, as they tend to take over. I keep the herbs out of the stock and save them for when Im making actual soup because I find it leaves more room for versatility. However things that make your stock extra tasty without changes the flavour specifically are cheese rinds, mushrooms and the best of all potatoes! You can make stock solely from potato skins if you need a quick veggie stock. Likewise you can leave out the bones and triple up the veggies and it makes a really tasty vegetarian stock.
Here’s what Ive got in my pot:
– $1 bag of bones from the butcher
– 4 carrots that were going a bit wobbly in the fridge, chopped in thick chunks
– a few stalks of celery I was saving for just such an occasion, washes and roughly chopped
– two onions, quartered, skin and all
– a bunch of wilted green onions
– leftover cheese rinds I’ve been saving in the freezer.
Let that simmer for at least a few hours. I like to leave mine on all night sometimes. The longer you leave it the more good stuff it’s going to suck out of the bones and veggies. If you’re making a veggie only stock though a couple of hours is the maximum you need to simmer it for, as after 2 hours you’re not going to get much else out of those vegetables.
Then I pour it through a cloth lined colander into a big pot in a sink full of ice to cool it down and put it into the fridge as soon as its cool enough not to melt everything else in the fridge. Leaving it sit until its room temperature makes me nervous because soup is also good food for bacteria.
When its cold I skim off the schmaltz and save it for CB to cook with later. Then I put it in plastic bags in the freezer. Then whenever we are feeling like a soup, or risotto or just need something to deglaze with we have some amazing home made stock on hand.
That pot of mine has only been on 15 minutes an already the smell in the apartment is insanely good. So there, you have a month worth of soups from about a buck and 20 minutes of your time. It’s super cheap, super fast, super healthy and its made from stuff that would have other wise been thrown away. It’s worth doing for the smell it fills your house with alone. Mmmm baby, love me some boiling bones!