As a passionate cook – I try to cook as much from scratch as possible. That includes making stock. I really don’t like stock cubes at all – especially since the cube has never seen any real ingredients apart from salt. I am not squeamish about salt but I like to decide myself what I put into the food. And let’s face it – it doesn’t have any flavour. I love risotto and it is one of my midweek treats but you need a good stock to make a great risotto and making stock in midweek is not a task I want to do after a day’s work.
River Cottage has a series of handbooks out and one of them is Preserves (I also have the bread & mushroom editions). While flipping through the pages I came across a recipe for Souper Mix – a brilliant idea (not sure why I didn’t come up with it). Basically you mince an assortment of vegetables with salt and store it in sterilised jars. Take 1 tsp or 2 and pour boiling water over it and et voilá you have freshly made stock – that actually tastes of stock. I chose a selection from the garden, carrots, leeks, celery, garlic, rosemary, sage & parsley (yeap, all from my Kitchen Garden). I also had a jar of sundried tomatoes and added a few as well.
You can use any combination – just be careful as the choice will determent the flavour in your end product. I personally believe that carrots give the best aroma and I love parsley – my main ingredients were indeed carrots, leeks and parsley. Give it a try – it is well worth it. The amount of salt depends on the amount of vegetables.
By the way, if you like preserving food – River Cottage Handbook is a great book to use and learn