While I could make a traditional vegetable or meat stock and freeze it, I have limited space in my freezer and rely heavily on stock concentrates for soups and flavor in other recipes. Thankfully, I was able to use the power of the interwebs to find out that you can make vegetable stock concentrate at home.
I was originally looking for a recipe which would give me a powder, but after some reading I realized that a gloop would be easier to obtain and no more trouble to keep. Many of the recipes assume you have a thermomix, and it would doubtless be easier if I did. However, it is still perfectly possible to make stock concentrate with the aid of a food processor and a saucepan.
The theory behind this is that more surface area gives you more flavour. The finer you chop your vegetables, the more surface area you are exposing to the cooking process. This also works well for putting vegetables in spag bol, for instance: next time grate your carrot, zucchini and mushroom before you add them to the frying pan. It also helps you disguise them from children who have an aversion to vegetable matter :-)
This is loosely based on this recipe.
Approx 1.25kg of vegetables which could be something like:
- 1 brown onion
- 1 bunch parsley, stalks and all
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 turnip
- 200g mushrooms
- 170g celery stalk
- 1 glug olive oil
- 125g salt
- Chop onion roughly.
- Squish garlic in a garlic squisher or chop roughly
- Peel and de-seed tomatoes.
- Put prepared onion, garlic and tomatoes with parsley in food processor with a blade and chop.
- Peel carrots and turnip if they look dirty enough. Cut to a size that will fit through the feed tube of your food processor.
- Clean mushrooms if they are especially dirty.
- Destring celery
- Put carrots, turnip, mushrooms and celery through a course grating attachment. Yes, bits will get stuck. This is fine. If you don't have a grating attachment on you food processor, you can do this all just by chopping with the blade although it does make the most unholy racket.
- Heat oil in a saucepan, hot but not smoking.
- Add everything to the saucepan (it doesn't seem to matter if you add salt now or later).
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins or so, until everything looks cooked. Nothing should be in the least bit crunchy.
- Take off heat and cool a little.
- Put through the food processor with the blade until you get a browny-green gloop. Gloop colour will vary with ingredients.
- Store in a glass or plastic container in your fridge, avoid metal containers due to the salt content.
Use approx 1 heaped tsp per 500ml water, remembering that it is about 10% salt.