Any chef will point to stock as an easy way to add flavor. I use stocks the most from fall to spring, as the base for soups, to flavor rice or beans, and to round out sauces. Although you can simply use water in many of these dishes for the same effect, swapping in a stock gives a jump-start to a tasty meal.
Although many recipes include a stock in the ingredient list, they don’t mention how easy it is to make, either on the spot or in a large batch to freeze so that you always have a bit on hand. Store-bought stocks and broths may seem easier, but they add to your grocery bill, tend to be loaded with salt and preservatives, and can be thick enough that instead of giving light undertones of flavor they overpower a dish. When I make stock, it feels cost-free and effortless: I use whatever’s at hand, rather than buying ingredients specifically for it, and it happens in the background of my day, simmering on the stove while I prepare a meal or check other tasks off my to-do list.
This week, in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, I share a stock recipe that uses whole vegetables so that you can learn the technique for making stock. Once you get a sense of the balance, you can swap in other vegetables and scraps so that you don’t spend time or money buying ingredients.
Learn to make Homemade Vegetable Stock