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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!

 

 

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EASY VEGETABLE SOUP STOCK

Preparation time: 10 minutes active. Start to finish: 40 minutes to 1 hour
Enough stock for two soup recipes

You may notice that cilantro graces the soup stock in this photo, a lovely  substitution by my friend who shot this photo. Candice says she loves this stock for many dishes, including to flavor rice.

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 or 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 ¼ 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.

 

Add a 2-inch chunk of fresh peeled ginger.

Use 2 leeks (bulbs and some of the light green) instead of onion, or roast the onion in the oven before adding to stock.

Add a 2-inch chunk of fresh peeled ginger and 2 or 3 garlic cloves. Add 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, if you like.

2 Responses

  1. Ingrid Beckman says:

    I love this recipe! And, the health benefits listed for the turmeric. I have heard that before, but have forgotten. I’ll be using that much more. Thanks!

  2. Hope yo will post the recipe for Broccoli Soup. It’s one of my favorites.