How to Grow Your Own Vegetable Soup Stock
grow your own
Soup is a healthy eating basic. Soup stock is easy to make and an essential in my kitchen. A basic vegetable soup stock takes about 45 minutes to make, in a stock pot, on top of the stove. A slow cooker version will take longer. Either way, it is very simple and involves water, sea salt and vegetables, which vegetables; well that is where it gets interesting.
There are a few basics I rely on for my vegetable soup stocks, celery, carrots, broccoli and chives. These three vegetables and one herb are sufficient to make a soup stock that can form the foundation of a wide variety of soups.
Chives can be grown indoors, in the kitchen, for example so they are handy for cooking. They go great in soups, stews, stir fries and rice dishes, for example.
Allium schoenoprasum or common garden chives can be grown indoors and out. Chives are grown for the flavour of their leaves which will remind you of a mild, but, oh so tasty, onion.
The stems and light purple flowers can be used to enhance your meals; however, as chives will quickly lose their flavour, they are best added near the end of the food’s preparation.
Soups are simple and satisfying and you can grow all the ingredients you need for a vegetable soup stock right in your own back yard. Making soup stock is a great way to use the bits of the vegetables you would hopefully compost. Now if like me you eat a lot of vegetables each day, you will have plenty of raw materials for both the compost bin and for making soup stock.
Celery is great raw and can be eaten with cheese, a variety of dips, and peanut butter for example. It also goes great in stir fries, tomato sauce and rice dishes and when you have cut the celery for one of those items; you can set aside what is left for the soup stock.
Celery does take time to reach maturity about five months, but, if you live in a cold climate, you could start it in a cold frame as soon as possible. Celery also needs a lot of water so you may want to consider setting up a rain barrel or some other method for harvesting rain water.
By growing your own vegetables and herbs for soup stock and other culinary purposes you are making sure the food you get is natural and free of any harmful substances, that is provided you are wise enough to grow organically.
It is not necessary to have a large garden to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for your personal consumption, even a small space can be productive enough to supplement your food supply and reduce your grocery bill.
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I am not talking about growing hydroponically which is an option but using natural light to keep your family supplied in some fresh produce all year round.