It seems rather unfair to mention this life-altering vegetable stock without providing the recipe used. Recipes have often been a source of heated debate. I, for one, love a good recipe – ones that suggest unfamiliar flavor combinations, different techniques or process explanations. I’ve spent a lot of time scouring the internet for recipes and find the ones that excite me most are the ones that are illustrated and made into comics.
Here is the recipe for vegetable stock, adapted from The Silver Spoon:
As previously mentioned, leeks and turnips were completely foreign to me. I decided to tackle the leeks first – they reminded me of scallions, and I love scallions. To prepare leeks, cut off the roots (often called the beards) and the darker, tougher green part of the shoots. Make a horizontal slice running lengthwise through the leek, being mindful not to cut completely through the root end. Rotate the leek 90 degrees and make another lengthwise cut, leaving you with a cross-hatch. Rinse the leeks under cold water to remove any dirt or grit, towel dry and then cut into rounds. Turnips are best when smaller, heavy, very firm and slightly violet colored. I wiped my turnips with a damp paper towel, sliced off the rough tops and started roughly chopping. Others will suggest you slice off the tops and then peel the turnip before chopping. As I see it, either approach is permissible – the more turnip, the merrier!
Et voilà! Pat yourself on the back, friends, you’ve just made vegetable stock. But wait, there’s more! Daydreaming as I pressed my vegetables through the sieve (and you will most definitely daydream at this point), I wondered, What am I going to do with this mush? It seemed like a shameful waste to just toss it, these having been my preciously discovered vegetables, handled with care. I put the mash in another bowl and attacked it with a hand-blender, liquifying it into a slightly thick vegetable soup.
Maybe this vegetable stock won’t have the same world-changing effects on all of you as it did on me, but it’s a great basic stock recipe with loads of room to experiment. Now is the time to get well-acquainted with your vegetable aisle. Wondering what fennel would add to the mix? Find out!