Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegetable Stock

The weather is getting colder here, and it's about to be soup season.  Buying cartons of stock is so very easy and it's great to be able to keep it on hand in the refrigerator.  But the question is: should you be making your own stock?

The store brand: Kitchen Basics - Natural Vegetable (no salt added):

And my recipe (taken from

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
2 large carrots
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic
8 sprigs fresh parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
8 cups water

First off, i cleaned the veggies and cut them up in 1 inch pieces.  Add the olive oil to the pot and then throw everything in except the salt and water.  Let it go for ~10 mins.

Now add the water and the salt (I used celery salt since I was fresh out of celery).  Let it simmer for 30-60 mins and then strain the liquid out and you're all set!

So, how did it turn out?  Alright, mine is on the right, and the first thing you'll notice is the obvious color difference (the store brand had tomato paste).  Taste wise they were both tasty - I think the biggest difference was mine was a little saltier (I bought the no salt added version at the store).

The great thing about vegetable stock is that although there is a recipe, you can add in clippings from any vegetables you've used lately - ends from carrots or asparagus, stalks from all your herbs you would normally toss, etc. You can keep a ziplock bag in the freezer and throw your ends in there, then when you're ready, voila - free stock ingredients!

And the cost breakdown?

Size (fl oz)CostCost/oz
Kitchen Basics32 fl oz $      3.65  $      0.11
Homemade48 fl oz $      3.60  $      0.08

Even if you are using all fresh ingredients to make this stock, it's still a little cheaper to make your own.  If you are using "recycled" vegetable pieces, then even better!  Nutrition wise, they came in about the same, since I purchased the all natural, no salt added.

So will I bake or buy in the future?  I can't get over the convenience of stocks cartons.  And the price isn't very far off, so I'll let those recycled vegetables hit the compost.  I think I'll make a point of it to stock up when it's on sale... PUN INTENDED!

Bake or Buy?  BUY!


  1. Is there a single thing you would bake? This should be called the Buy or Buy blog.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  3. Remember, the greater the surface area, the more quickly Organic vegetables online will yield their flavor. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.


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