Chef Kelly Unger
Making your own vegetable stock
Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Each week I make my own vegetable stock from the scraps I have collected every time I cook. My vegetable scrap bag usually contains onion ends, onion skin, leek tops, scallion tops, lemon rinds, wilted lettuce, kale stems, and any other vegetables left in the refrigerator that look dry or have just gone unused for whatever reason. If you peel vegetables - which you shouldn't, and if you've ever been to one of my classes you know I never do, BUT, if you do peel vegetable, save the peels to add to your stock.
I add all of the scraps to my largest stock pot along with a bay leaf, salt, pepper, about 1 tablespoon turmeric powder (for it's anti-inflammatory properties and also because it gives the broth a gorgeous color), any spice bottle dregs, and fill the pot with as much water as it will hold without boiling over. I bring the pot to a boil, uncovered, then reduce it to a low boil, cover it, and allow it to cook for two hours. Then I uncover the pot, increase the heat to a full boil and let it reduce for 30 minutes to 1 hour. After I remove the vegetable scraps, I check for flavor and seasoning. The stock may require more boiling uncovered to reduce the water content and increase the flavor. Check it every 20 minutes and stop when you are happy with the flavor and adjust the seasonings if necessary. If you want to make stock but you don't have any vegetable scraps, just clean out your vegetable drawer and use the ugliest produce for your stock.