Sunday, March 22, 2020

Oh NO! They Are Out Of Soup!!!

Prepping the ends of a cabbage
for the "freezer bag".

I had the great fortune of spending most of my summers with my grandmother who was a teenager during the Great Depression. I spent endless summer days with her learning how to plant and weed a garden. I learned how to turn a little bit of flour, water and egg into noodles and pierogi dough and she showed me that the simplest of items could turn into amazingly yummy desserts with just a little elbow grease and love.

These lessons proved to be helpful during my college years, and during the "working in the rat race" years and now, the lessons she taught are coming in hand as the world is experiencing a virus that is halting so much of our lives and what we take for granted.

In the last few days I have read more than a dozen people expressing their nervousness online about the lack of canned goods on the store shelves. In particular, they were stunned by the lack of soups and soup stocks for sale. The cans and boxes had all been purchased leaving the shelves bare and in hearing the panic in their posts I felt maybe it might be useful to share what I learned from gramma.

I will be honest with you, the thought of buying canned soup from a store shelf is a horrid thought to me. Spending hard earned money on boxed stock is a NO GO for this gal. For me, its homemade or nothing.

Ok, I heard a few groans as I mentioned the word, "homemade" in the last paragraph. I know, no one likes to fuss, and anything "homemade" seems to have a fuss about it, but this soup stock isn't fussy, and as we have nothing but time TO fuss, why not give this simple veggie stock recipe a try. Honestly, you already have everything you need to make it. Sadly, you're probably throwing all that you need away.

Huge freezer bag full of veggie
scraps that are ready for boiling.

Big bag of veggie scraps.

Every potato you peel, every carrot you cut the ends off of and every celery end you want to toss, needs to go into a big freezer bag. That freezer bag is then placed in your freezer and every time you peel a carrot for a salad or peel potatoes for dinner all the peelings go into the freezer bag and held till the bag is full. Once that bag is full you can slowly boil all those peelings in a 8 quart pot of water for a few hours which creates a nice veggie stock.

That's it!

Seriously, that is how one makes vegetable stock. After about 2-3 hours of slowly simmering the peelings will be mush, but all the nutrient and taste will be in the now veggie stock. I like to add a little bullion cube (either chicken or beef, but veggie bullion can be added) just to give the stock an added boost of flavor.

After 2-3 hours of slow simmer the veggie peels can be removed and discarded. You'll be left with a delicious vegetable stock base for pretty much any type of soup you'd like to make and an 8 quart pot goes a long way. The liquid can be frozen and used later. From this point, the stock is the base for amazing soups. Add meat, add noodles, add more veggies for a wonderfully full and delicious soup.

So don't waste those peelings. Let them work for you in a delicious and easy veggie stock. If feeling adventurous, save shrimp shells (yep...dont discard those!) or lobster or clam shells in the freezer too and when a bag is full boil those up to make an amazingly homemade seafood stock. From there you can make an amazing bisque!

Did you buy a huge froze turkey cause that's all they had at the store the day you went looking for meat? Bonsai! You not only have enough meat to feed a small army you now have a turkey carcass which will boil down using this method to a simply decadent turkey stock soup. If you are throwing away your carcass after your meal you are seriously missing out on good food.

It all starts with the stock.

8 quart soup pot with colander
works great for making stocks from discarded peelings.

If you feel the stock needs a little "boost"
just add some bullion. One or two is perfect.

Me and my beautiful grandma
on my graduation day from Pratt Institute.

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