The vegetable market in Chicago is bustling with customers buying all kinds of fruits and vegetables, and with plenty of little leftover pieces that often get thrown away. If you find yourself in the same dilemma, here is a guide to making your own vegetable stock from scraps.

Gathering Your Scraps

The most important part of this DIY endeavor begins with selecting the right scraps. Any ingredient that you would normally use to make a vegetable soup or stew is a great starting point. This includes onion skins, celery, carrots, parsley stems, fennel, garlic, and turnips. Additionally, you can also look to your refrigerator and freezer for additional scraps. Some good examples are tomato pieces, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus ends, kale stems, and Brussels sprouts.

Storing Your Scraps

The next step to making your stock is storing the scraps until you are ready to use them. A good option is to store them in the freezer in a freezer bag or air-tight container. Keeping them in the freezer prevents them from spoiling and also locks in their nutrition and flavor.

Creating Your Stock

Once your scraps are gathered, it’s time to start making your stock. The main ingredients for the stock are making sure these are always included: onion skins, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and turnips. Place these scraps in a large pot of water, add salt (a minimum of one teaspoon per quart), and bring to a boil.

Aromatic Additions

To make your stock aromatic, add herbs such as parsley, thyme, and bay leaves at the beginning of the cooking time. If you prefer a stronger flavor, add garlic and onion. For added sweetness, you can add a teaspoon of sugar and a few peppercorns.

Simmer and Strain

Once all the ingredients are added, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour. After an hour, remove from heat and strain the mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove all the solids. The strained stock should be produced in about one and a half quarts.

Cool and Freeze

When the stock has been strained, transfer it to a bowl or container and let it cool for thirty minutes to one hour before transferring it to the refrigerator and letting it cool for an additional two hours. Once it is cooled, it can be poured into an airtight container, labeled, and stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Now that you know how to make your own vegetable stock from scraps, you can be sure to have a flavorful stock base whenever you need it. The vegetable market in Chicago offers a variety of produce to choose from, allowing you to make a rich and delicious stock every time.

Find Fresh, Quality Produce at the Best Vegetable Market in Chicago

Stop by Fresh Farms, the premier vegetable market and grocer in Chicago, to get the freshest and highest quality produce for the best value! You can easily create your own vegetable stock from scraps with freshly picked vegetables from our vast selection of organic and locally-grown produce. Let Fresh Farms be the source of your delicious homemade vegetable stock!

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DIY: How to Make Your Own Vegetable Stock from Scraps