A Well-Stocked Pantry
A Well-Stocked Pantry
February 5, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Root vegetables—the staple of winter farmer’s markets here in the Northeast. Well, good news is just when you thought you’d had enough of them, I’ve got a new recipe that will leave you loving them all over again. What if I told you a handful of carrots, celery, onions and a few other easy-to-find ingredients could save you over $100 in grocery shopping? Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about a pantry staple: homemade stock.

We’ve all resorted to store-bought stock, whether in a pinch, or simply for ease and convenience. With a little planning, you can make enough vegetable stock to feed an army, yet it’ll only take up a small bit of real estate in your fridge or freezer. Have you ever made split pea soup off the back of the bean bag? The one my husband first started making many moons ago called for a packet of bouillon—the powdered concentration equivalent to canned broth basically. Now you can skip the cans and packets and head straight to the kitchen to make your own all-natural, preservative-free version to use in soups, stews, risottos…really the possibilities are endless.

Homemade Vegetable Bouillon
makes one quart concentrated or 48 quarts diluted

Two things to remember with this recipe: 1) a little goes a long way and 2) you're essentially curing the vegetables in salt, so that’s why you need so much of it to start. Depending on the size of your Cuisinart food processor, you may need to make this in two batches, or just halve the recipe.

4 carrots, trimmed, scrubbed & cut into large pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 small onion, peeled & quartered
10 sun-dried tomato halves
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms (caps & stems), cleaned & quartered
2 cloves garlic
generous handful of fresh parsley, including stems
7 ounces salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a wet paste and is well combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or separate into smaller portions to store in the freezer. To use, combine one measured teaspoon with one cup boiling water, adding more water as necessary to adjust to your liking.

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