Friday, March 9, 2012

About a month or two ago, I was reading through my Facebook newsfeed and came across a shared link from one of my friends Kendel who I met at university. The title of the link was "Five Packaged Foods You Never Have to Buy Again...". Having an absolute disdain for the mass-produced crap that lines our grocery store shelves, I definitely was worth click.

The article goes on to detail how you never have to buy (1) Soups (2) Stock (3) Canned Beans (4) Hummus (5) Cereal ever again (and the many reasons not to). The one that really caught my attention was #2... stock made from "garbage".

For those that know me, not only do I love food but I love gardening as well. There is nothing better than fresh, organic produce grown in ones backyard. As with most organic gardens, fertilization without the use of synthetic chemicals is crucially important. It is for this reason I compost. My garden gives me amazing produce and in return, I give it the scraps from those vegetables which go into my compost bins and become a nutrient rich compost for next years harvest.

The Scraps

One thing about living  in Canada that limits this amazing compost action is WINTER :( When the microorganisms in the compost bin slow down, my scraps have to wait until spring to begin to keep up with the amount of vegetables and fruits I consume. decompose. That is where this stock from "garbage" comes in.

The article explains that instead of sending vegetable (and fruit) scraps to the composter, save them and use them to make a homemade broth free from all that sodium, BPA, and all those other nasty things associated with store bought stock. I took the challenge.

For the last two months, whenever I made a dish I threw the scraps into a plastic bag and stuck them in my freezer. My housemates were probably wondering what the heck I was doing. Now you know guys ;)

There were portobello mushroom stems from a risotto, pumpkin from roast veggies, parsley from tabouli, ginger from a stir fry, endive from a salad, carrots from a soup, stems from serrano peppers, lemon rind from who knows what (probably tequila shots)...

The Soup :)
To make the stock, I simply tossed all these scraps into a large pot, and doubled that same amount as water. I simply let this boil for 5 minutes, and then strained the scraps out of the broth.* I added some sea salt and pepper to taste. I then simply tossed in some noodles and had a suprisingly amazing soup made in less than 10 minutes and uber healthy too.

The only thing is, I wish I could recreate the broth I just enjoyed but.... no recipe. Forcing each batch of stock to be equally unique.

* the remaining scraps from the strainer went into the compost bin anyways


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