Veggie stock paste Made Simple. Reduce packaging waste. Reduce food waste. Cook without additives or unnecessary sugar. Make it yourself but make it quickly and easily. My home made veggie stock paste does all this.
If I don't want to use a bought powdered or liquid stock and use my own produce I can spend a good amount of time in the kitchen making something tasty and healthy. First I cook up the traditional onions, celery and carrot. Add garlic, herbs and the bits of veggies I have available. I'm making my own stock base everytime which isn't very efficient time wise. This concentrated stock paste I've been making is easy to make in a big batch, it's tasty and is a great use of veggies which are looking a bit tired. When you make it yourself you know what goes into it - so no weird additives or sugar. Plus it's another way to reduce packaging which is something I'm even more conscious about in Plastic Free July. Use it as a quick base for a soup or stew or to add flavour to a sauce. You save time by not dicing up onions, celery and carrot as usual but still get the flavour, nutrients and fibre.
The original recipe I got from the NZ Gardener booklet - The Art of Preserving (which is a great reference). It calls for whizzing up heaps of vegetables and preserving it in salt. I'm not confident with using salt as a preservative so I make a fridge/freezer friendly version using alot less salt. As I've done with the original recipe, adapt the ingredients below to suit what you have available.
HOME MADE VEGGIE STOCK PASTE
25g sundried tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves
100g green leaf - eg parsley, coriander, kale, rocket, edible weeds
10 pitted olives
Several grinds of pepper corns
Notes on the ingredients
The measurements for the vegetables are pretty loose but still need to be balanced as something like celery, coriander or kale can dominant the taste if you add too much. What you use will depend on what you have available and also your preference for some flavours over others.
When you thin your garden veggies (eg carrots, keep the tops also) save them to use in this recipe. Make sure you clean them well.
I don't tend to use brassicas in this as they give a different taste but a little bit (eg broccoli stalk) would be ok.
Prepare the ingredients
Leave the skin on the carrot. Use some of the celery leaf also.
Dice the leek, onion, carrot and celery to make it easier to process.
If your processor will make a fine paste the skin can stay on the garlic, otherwise remove it and dice roughly.
Prepare the leafy vegetables and herbs by chopping roughly. Tasty and nutritious stalks and roots can be included. Chop finely if your processor won't break it down enough.
Whizz all this in the food processor or stick blender. Add them in as you need to get a good paste, it will depend on the strength of your machine. (Carrot and celery first, then onion, leek, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic then green leaves). Add the salt and pepper last and just mix it through.
Use 1TB as the base for a stew or soup (for 2-3 serves). Liquid will separate out from the ingredients over time so mix up the paste before you use it. Don't add any extra salt to the meal as this is salty enough.
Keep a small jar in the fridge for a few weeks.
Freeze the rest in small jars.