Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vegetable Stock (Page 930)

  • Date: Monday, August 21, 2006 - 8pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Chris
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe came from the "Basics" section of The Book, which is another one of my slow sections. We didn't actually use this stock on Monday, we just made it and froze it for later soup-making adventures! I tasted it before putting it in the freezer though, and it was extremely good. I make vegetable stock frequently, but my usual method is admittedly a little sketchy. I take whatever vegetables I have in the fridge (or ones that I have thrown in the freezer for this purpose), dump them in a big pot with some herbs, cook for a few hours, and strain. This recipe, however, called for the vegetables and herbs to be roasted before they are boiled. The roasting really added a lot of wonderful flavor to the stock. This stock also contained some white wine, which was a lovely addition. My only complaint: it was just a touch too tomato-ey. When I make it again (which I will!), I will cut back on the tomato a little.

Peter asked me the other day which food staples I thought were worth making yourself. The first thing I said was "Stock!" Homemade stock is just so superior to any stock or broth you can buy in a can. It seems like a small thing, but it is shocking how much starting with a good stock affects the flavor and mouthfeel of a soup or sauce. My freezer usually has various chicken or turkey carcasses in it, waiting to be turned in to delicious stock! I went through a soup phase a couple years ago, where I made huge batches of soup every weekend. At any given time my freezer probably had four different varieties of frozen soup in it. This also necessitated making a lot of stock! It's a lovely cycle to be in, especially during a Boston winter. I would often bake fresh bread to go with my soup. There are few meals as perfect as a wonderful homemade soup with bread straight from the oven! It's hard to motivate to make soup and bread this time of year though -- it just gets too hot in my apartment! But making soup and bread is one of the things that I look forward to about winter in Boston!

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