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Vegetable Stock

January 28, 2009

Laura’s Blog Entry

I am overjoyed to say that I finally found a recipe for homemade vegetable stock that I really like. And it came from the unlikeliest of places – the MySpace blog of my bandmate, Dave Eberhardt. It’s weird to say bandmate, because we have not ever actually performed any of the music for our band The Sleep in each other’s presence. Dave recorded his guitar tracks and gave them to Neil. Neil played around with them and then added the vocals later. But we’re all the in photos together, so that makes it official somehow.

Dave is the tall guy, with dark hair, in the black shirt. Opps. No, the other one. OK, the one on the left!

Anyway, Dave published this recipe awhile back, on Sunday, October 26, 2008, to be exact. Look it up if you are interested in his version. I thought it sounded good so I gave it a try. Dave makes this as a soup, but I found that I prefer to strain it and use it as a stock.

Mari really loves it, and just eats a bowl of what she calls “the juice.” She asked me to make more when we ran out of the last batch, so we definitely have a winner. It freezes very well, and has worked beautifully in a number of recipes I’ve made lately that call for vegetable stock.

I am publishing my own version here, as I made a few alterations to the quantities of ingredients and added some additional ingredients. Dave’s version was a bit too manly for me – way more spices and salt. This is a girly version, but no less nutritious.

Anyway, enough exposition and photos; here’s the recipe.

Vegetable Soup/Stock, a la Dave Eberhardt

Half a cabbage (I prefer the red kind but green is fine)
1 large or 2 small onions
3 carrots
1-2 bell peppers of your favorite color
3 celery stalks
A handful of cilantro (If you have it on hand. I wouldn’t buy it just for this small amount.)
Half a cauliflower
Half a jalapeno pepper (Again, not crucial, but nice if you have it.)
A nice bunch of fresh spinach or other greens – kale, turnip, collard, etc.
A few mushrooms (Once again, if you have them lying around. I think you are getting the picture.)

Note: Add any other vegetables you want, or have lying around and would like to use up – I made one batch with some roasted red peppers – it was yummy! I also think a sweet potato would add a little sweetness if you’ve got one.

2 cans diced tomatoes
8 cups of water
Half a cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 vegetable bouillon cubes

In a large stockpot, place the vegetables – chopped to the desired fineness if you are going to leave them in, or in large pieces if you are going to strain this for use as stock. Add the tomatoes, water, and spices.

Heat the whole thing to a boil, cover, and then simmer it for 60 minutes.

Makes approximate 8 cups of stock, if you keep a lid on it while cooking to lessen evaporation. Cool to room temperature, strain, and freeze in plastic containers. I find the 2-cup size convenient as most recipes call for a can – approximately 2 cups – of stock.

And because in 2009 I vow to show more of what is really going on in my life, not just the pretty final product, here’s what the kitchen looked like afterwards:

But just so you know, it’s all cleaned up now. Whew.

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