Homemade Vegetable Stock
Most of our recipes in the crèche use a homemade vegetable stock as its base ingredient so you will notice this listed in most of our recipes. While you can buy stock cubes, they tend to contain be a lot of additives such as mono-sodium glutamate. These will often be listed by their long chemical names which can be confusing for consumers to decipher. By making your own stock, you can ensure that you are using all fresh and natural foods in your family’s meals and can avoid these additives completely.
Generally we don’t use salt in any of our recipes at crèche, but we do use some in our stock.
While high levels of salt are bad for you, your body does need small amounts. Therefore once you monitor your (and your child’s) intake, using salt is a natural way to add flavour to dishes and eliminates the need for any artificial ingredients.
It is easiest to make a large quantity of stock at a time and then freeze it in smaller portions. This way you can make a month’s quantity in one go and will have a base for many nourishing meals whenever you need it.
Why not check out our recipe archive for some inspiration?!
Chef Rohan’s Homemade Stock
• Onion – 2 diced
• Celery – 1 head diced
• Carrots – 5 diced
• Leeks – 2 diced
• Water – 4 litres
• Salt – 1 tsp
• Pepper – 1 tsp
• Garlic – 2 cloves
• Fresh thyme
• Fresh parsley
• Tomato puree – 1 tbsp
1 large pot
Ice cube tray (optional)
Dice up all the vegetables. Add a small amount of olive oil to a large pot and sauté off the vegetables at a medium temperature. Once the veg is golden brown, add in the water and the rest of the ingredients. Bring the pot to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Strain the pot and discard the vegetables (try and get any remaining juice from them before discarding them). Put the strained stock back in the pot and bring to a simmer again. Reduce the liquid until the level is a quarter of where it started from – it should be syrupy in texture at this stage. This could take an hour or more.
Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. You now have your vegetable stock in concentrated form which makes it easier to store. This stock should last up to 5 days fresh in the fridge.
A handy way to store the stock is to pour it into ice tray moulds and keep it in the freezer. This way you can just pop a stock ice cube into any meal as you are preparing it!