EASY VEGETABLE SOUP STOCK
Preparation time: 10 minutes active. Start to finish: 40 minutes to 1 hour
Enough stock for two soup recipes
This easy vegetable stock has a gentle flavor but it adds depth to any recipe—including summer soups! Please note that I specify Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt, which is a large, unrefined granule. If you substitute any finer grain of salt for Light Grey Celtic, I suggest that you use half the amount called for in the recipe.
I always add turmeric to any stock. It’s a great seasoning, to be sure, and it’s also the best food preservative. Turmeric, which has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic cooking and medicine, has been rediscovered by modern health-care practitioners who recognize turmeric’s anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory value. According to a post by Dr. Andrew Weil, recent scientific studies show that turmeric helps prevent or alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and cancer. “Adding turmeric to your diet is one of the best moves toward optimal health you can make,” Weil noted.
You can customize this recipe based on the menus you’re planning for the week. For instance, you might add 2 or 3 whole garlic cloves if you’re planning to cook Italian or other Mediterranean food. For a heartier stock, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of lentils or navy beans. And of course, you can add some edible bits and pieces of veggies stored in the fridge.
You can also customize the recipe for your body/mind type. For instance, if you tend to be cold or hyper, add fresh ginger to warm your metabolism and calm the mind. If you tend to be hot and irritable, you can do one of three things: either substitute leeks for the onion, or roast the onion in advance of preparing the stock. (Leeks and roasted onions are milder and less heating to the metabolism than boiled onions.) You COULD leave out the onion flavor altogether, but I wouldn’t recommend it!
You will see notes such as these under V, P, and K with each recipe I post. (V is for Vata. P is for Pitta. K is for Kapha). I’ll explain these terms with a short primer about Ayurveda in my next post, or you can read up about it now at Blue Pearl Ayurveda.
1 large yellow onion (Vidalia when available)
1 fennel bulb with greens
4 to 6 large carrots
4 to 6 stalks celery with leaves
1 small Garnet yam or other sweet potato
Handful of shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 to 2 fresh bay leaves
3 tablespoons fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried
3 to 4 sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
8 to 12 cups purified water
Shopping Tip: Organic fennel bulbs are expensive, so you may wish to substitute the vegetable with 1/4 teaspoon organic fennel seeds.
1. Peel the onion and wash all the other vegetables. Chop off the fennel stalks and add them to the pot (or save them for a second recipe). Chop the onion, fennel bulb, carrots, celery and potato in half or quarters. Pull the stems off the mushrooms if the stems don’t look fresh, and add the whole mushrooms. Rinse the herbs.
2. Combine the ingredients in an 8-quart stock pot with water and cover the pot. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to medium or medium-low heat to simmer for at least 30 minutes an up to 90 minutes. Let cool; then strain.