A great way to use up all your veggie offcuts is to turn them into vegetable stock. Whatever veggies you have leftover, carrot and onions skins, celery offcuts, mushrooms, leeks – asparagus – whatever! Veggies to avoid though would be leafy greens, brassicas, potatoes and squash. Also avoid using browning or mouldy vegetables – they might give the stock a bitter or off flavour.
For this recipe I used:
Onions (skins, the base with the root still on it, offcuts)
Carrots (Carrots skins or tops or whole)
Celery (The base, stalk or leaves – just make sure everything is clean from dirt)
Leek (any or all parts)
Mushroom (any or all parts)
Bay Leaves (a couple is fine)
Black Peppercorns (about a tsp)
Thyme (a small handful)
Ok so make sure all you veggies are clean and you have a substantial amount. I used a 5L pot and the vegetables filled it more than halfway. Throw in the rest of the aromatics (bay leaves, pepper, thyme). Cover with a generous amount of cold or room temperature water. Place on stove and bring up to a boil. As soon at the water is boiling, turn the heat down until it simmers and leave it to simmer for 1 – 2 hours. It should be a very slow simmer, this is the best way to get out all those yummy flavours.
The liquid should have a lovely fragrant aroma and look golden. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. You can throw all the leftover chunky veggies into your compost bin so that nothing goes to waste. Allow to stock to cool at room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
You can use vegetable stock to make stews, soups, risottos, sauces – pretty much anywhere you need to add a bit of moisture to your dish.