When preparing meals with washed vegetables, keep the scraps. Think carrot peels, corncobs, tomato chunks, leek off-cuts, celery and onion bases, mushroom stems and herb stalks. Store them away in the freezer in a container, adding to them until you have a container full.
Place the frozen scraps into a large pot. If you don’t have many onion or carrot scraps in your frozen collection, add a few diced onions, carrots and sticks of celery, then for even more flavour add a couple of smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves. Throw in a handful of fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley or rosemary for extra aromatics. Pour in water until the pot is ¾ full.
Bring it all to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solids (they are ideal for the compost bin). Use your stock straight away or refrigerate for
three days, or you can freeze it for up to three months.
Avoid any vegetables that have mould on them – they are best thrown in the compost bin. Vegetables such as cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and turnips can have quite an overpowering flavour, so only add these very sparingly, if at all.
Not so salty
Making your own stock allows you to control the amount of salt used. Great for those who need to keep a close eye on their intake.
Don’t throw your scraps into the garbage, instead transform them into a really delicious soup. Pan-fry diced onion and two smashed garlic cloves in a small amount of oil with a generous spoonful of tomato paste or curry paste.
Add vegetable scraps, a handful of herbs and water until vegetables are just covered. Simmer for 30 minutes, remove woody stems, season to taste, chilli optional, then blend.