Weekday Vegetarian: A Great Use For Those Veggie Ends

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This weekend I had an astonishing amount of asparagus ends, wild leek roots and leaves and fiddlehead stalks. Literally pounds of the stuff that I couldn't bring myself to throw out. I had to do something with all that stuff.The answer, or course, is vegetable stock. I made my first foray into preserving for 2010 this weekend with pickled asparagus, pickled fiddleheads and pickled wild leeks. My asparagus was so successful last year that I was determined to make more this year. So I ended up with 8 bunches of asparagus, roughly 9 lbs of it, 2 lbs of fiddleheads and 2 lbs of wild leeks. The woody ends of 9 lbs of asparagus makes for a huge pile of cast off vegetable.

I tossed everything, including the roots of the leeks, into my big stock pot, added cold water so it was just covering the vegetables. I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat so it simmered, and then walked away and let it cook for a couple of hours, until is resembled something like swampwater. The resulting stock is so intensely flavoured, that I think I'm going to try and make some kind of asparagus consomme, maybe a Thai kind of soup with bird's eye chilis and lemongrass.

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One of the great things about making vegetable stock is that it is different each time, depending on what vegetables you are tossing into the pot. I like to keep a bowl in fridge where I put all the odds and ends of vegetables I'm using and then when the bowl is full, I just make a bit of stock. Sometimes I roast the vegetables first, and sometimes I just put them in water. You never have to waste vegetable ends again.

Some Vegetarian Spring Soup Recipes
Fiddlehead Soup
Asparagus Soup
Thai-Style Asparagus Soup with Green Curry
Sorrel, Spinach and Tomato Soup
Wild Leek Soup

Tags: Weekday Vegetarian

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