Make Your Own Stock, Please, for Exponentially More Delicious Soups!
Photo by Candice Stark
Nothing compares to the taste or healing power of a fresh soup stock created from pristine vegetables teeming with nutrients. If you thrill to the taste of fine food, then the boxed or canned stuff doesn’t quite cut it! I cannot tell you how many friends who have dined with us report that their rendition of my latest soup recipe didn’t measure up to what they tasted at our table. I always follow such a comment with the question, “did you make the soup stock or use a box?” Inevitably, to a person, they had skipped this vital step. This is my most unscientific research to emphasize that making fresh stock is always worth planning ahead and investing a few more minutes of your time!
This easy vegetable stock has a gentle flavor but it adds depth to any recipe. 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— though bitter foods such as greens an cruciferous vegetables are not recommended.
You can also customize the recipe for your body/mind type. For instance, if you tend to be cold, anxious, have trouble falling asleep, or experience a lot of joint pain (all vata problems), add fresh ginger to warm your metabolism and calm the mind. If you tend to be hot and irritable (pitta problems), you can do one of four 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! And, you can add cilantro, which is innately cooling.
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). To learn more about these terms, check out this post: VPK: Ayurveda for Beginners in Three Words
Enjoy this Easy Vegetable Soup Stock as you embrace vibrant health and expand your horizons by cooking fresh food daily that is both sacred…and delicious!