Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

I love vegetable stock. I especially love to heat it and drink it as is. The store-bought stocks tend to be very high sodium, even the low-sodium ones, so I prefer to make my own. It’s very easy, and if you have a slow cooker (e.g. Crock Pot), you can leave it to cook while you do other things, like work. There are a number of vegetables you can put into your stock, and people often use odd ends and trimmings of vegetables, but I don’t use anything I would ordinarily feed to my worms (yes, we have a worm bin in our kitchen).

You need:

1 leek, 1 bulb fennel, 3-4 sticks celery, 1 large onion, 1-2 chili peppers of  your choice, 2 bay leaves, 5-6 leaves basil

How to:

  1. Prepare the vegetables and chop them into large pieces. (Click HERE for how to prepare various vegetables)
  2. Add them to your slow cooker.
  3. Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
  4. Add the herbs and chili peppers.
  5. Cover and turn on high for 5-6 hours.
  6. Pour broth into a container.
  7. Place the vegetables in a food processor and blend well.
  8. Pour into the container through a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to rub it in to get it all.
  9. Refrigerate immediately and use within 3-4 days.

If you want to store the stock, cool it in the fridge for a couple of hours, then pour into ice trays. When it is frozen, put the broth ice cubes into a Ziploc bag and return to the freezer. Use within 3-4 months.

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Light Summer Soup

light-soup.jpg

I made this yesterday. No fat. No dairy. No onions. No garlic. No spices. And still so good. I call it a summer soup because it seems to be to be the kind of soup you can drink on a hot summer evening in Delhi. It’s very light, and very easy to make.

Preparation time: 20 minutes at the most

Cooking time: 20 minutes (no need to watch!)

Get a big stock pot or kadahi or something. Dice and throw into it the following:

1. 2-3 small leeks (only the white part) – wash ’em well!

2. 2 medium-sized yellow squashes (use lauki as a substitute in India)

3. 2 sticks celery, or as much as you can stand.

4. 1 jalapeño – cut off the top and tail (it won’t be too strong)

5. Keep 1 bunch of chopped cilantro ready, but don’t add it yet.

6. Two cans of vegetable broth, or enough to make it soupy!

7. 1 stalk lemongrass, score it well to release the flavor.

Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for twenty minutes.

Add the cilantro, stir well, turn off the heat, and eat!