So it’s been my plan for the last few months to make roasted vegetable stock this spring to fill up our pantries for Lent and meatless Friday meals. One of my favorite books for simple, Lenten meals, Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, uses vegetable stock often for added flavor and now that I know how to can stock, I thought, why not?
Until I opened my pantry and saw row after row and jar after jar of turkey and poultry stock, produced over the last few months, just looking at me. Pregnancy fatigue was getting me down and it just seemed like too much to have to consider making and storing more stock, sanitizing jars, buying another box of lids, and hauling out the canner from the basement. Don’t get me wrong, for meat-based stocks, the canning process is fantastic, my new favorite thing, and I use it all the time. But for vegetables? Sigh, I was getting tired just thinking about it.
And then I ran across this post, and this one, and remembered those lovely little jars of bouillon I used to buy and keep stocked in my fridge before I realized they were all full of MSG. It was so simple to just heat up some water in our electric kettle, add a spoonful or two of bouillon and voila! Instant soup, or flavor to any dish, from jambalaya to minestrone to risotto.
And then I looked in my fridge and realized I almost had all of the ingredients anyway . . . one trip to the store to buy mushrooms, five minutes of chopping and two minutes of processing and I was done. With a full quart of bouillon in my fridge, just waiting for our next meatless meal.
A note: The quantity of salt in this recipe is essential to preserving the raw vegetables. Basically you’re making a form of a pickle to store in your fridge until you add it with hot water to make stock. Don’t even think of skimping it! Also, unlike my other stock recipes, this one is already, obviously, seasoned so be cautious about any excess salt you add to your finished dish – taste test first! If you must have a no or low-salt version, see the note at the end of the recipe for a freezer-version.
makes one full quart
- 4 carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into one inch pieces
- 3 stalks of celery, trimmed, washed and cut into one inch pieces
- 1 very large shallot (3 average sized ones) or 1 medium-sized mild onion
- 4 green onions, washed and chopped (I would also consider substituting one leek, white part only, next time if I had one in my vegetable bin)
- 1 large handful of flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, washed and lightly chopped
- About 1/2 cup or so of sun-dried tomato halves (the only ones I could find were stored in oil, but I’d also make it again with those that are simply dried)
- 1-1/2 cups of mushrooms, stems and caps, cleaned and chopped (I used Baby Bellas)
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 8 ounces salt (measure by weight, if possible – I used kosher salt and it was just under 1 cup but different salts will measure out differently by volume)
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Layer all the ingredients in a large food processor and blend away, pulsing if necessary to get all the vegetables to the blades, until you have a uniform paste. I have the largest food processor available to the masses – a 14 cupper – so if you have a smaller one I’d recommend halving the recipe or processing in batches.
Store in a quart size jar in the fridge!
To use, measure out 1 measured teaspoon per 1 cup of hot water.
*If you want to make a salt-free or low-salt version of this, I’d recommend omitting or reducing the salt in the paste, and then freezing it in 2 teaspoon or so batches in an ice-cube tray. If you plan on keeping it in your fridge, however, you must include all the salt in the original recipe.
Any favorite vegetarian soups or dishes you make regularly? I’m always on the lookout for meatless recommendations!