It got me thinking...... why can't I make my own vegetable stock? It can't be that hard! I started saving my scraps from cutting up vegetables and fruits. That means onion peels and ends, carrot tops, pepper tops and seeds, apple cores, celery pieces, kale stalks, winter squash rinds....... anything that I would usually feed to my chickens or that you might put on your compost pile(minus the coffee grounds, of course!). I find that a few of the green elements are essential. The kale or collard stalks or leaves add a very rich flavor. I keep a gallon ziplock bag in the fridge and add to it over a week or so.
Put all of this into a large pot, fill it almost to the brim with water, throw in a bay leaf or two and cook it for a long time. Your kitchen will smell like Mama just came over with the best vegetable soup that ever touched your tongue. The aroma will make you salivate. Perfect to put on the stove on a chilly fall afternoon.
You want to cook it until it looks like mush. Then let it cool. Slowly dip off the beautiful liquid into containers to freeze. When you get to just vegetables, pour them into a colander over a pan. Let the stock settle out and then dip out the rest. I usually leave a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the bowl, because no matter how hard I wash my veggies there is always some silt or sediment in the bottom that I don't want in my soups!
Here is a look at the mushy cooked vegetables. They can now be thrown on the compost heap or fed to your chickens.