There are few things as important as fresh stock yet is is so rarely made made in the U.S. that when someone mentions the word “bouillon” we think about a cube in a package when bouillon is the French word for stock.
Culinary great, Alain Ducasse says “Le bouillon est la base de la cuisine” when discussing the importance of stock in cuisine in an interview with Vogue Magazine. During the summers I pick fresh herbs at my restaurant and take cuttings of celery, corn cobs and and other vegetables for court bouillons. During the winter, I like richer stocks and use leftover vegetable peels and cuttings from seasonal vegetables like leeks and mushrooms along with some bay leaves along with peppercorns and parsley (a friend of mine in Greenport has parsley peaking out through the snow) for a longer boil. You can makes these stocks during the weekend to use it in soups, braises and risottos during the week.
1/2 cup of carrot peels and trimmings
1/2 cup of celery trimmings including leaves
One whole small onion
One tomato or pieces of assorted tomatoes (whatever is leftover)
A few peppercorns
2 to 3 bay leaves
One teaspoon of olive oil
One quart of water
Add teaspoon of olive oil into stock pot and heat. Quickly add all peels and trimmings and stir. This releases the aromas and will make a richer stock. You can add other herbs but be careful because stronger herbs like rosemary, basil or sage can take over the stock and make it less versatile.
Once the trimmings and peels begin to sauté, add your water and boil for 20 minutes.
Remove stock from heat and set aside. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Strain through colander into a pitcher. This will make it easy to pour into ice cube tray or other containers.
This will reduce and give you about a half quart of vegetable stock which will keep between 2 to 4 days or up to a month if frozen in ice trays, then removed in cubes and stored in zip lock bags.