I’ll never throw away vegetable scraps again.
You know, the parts of the vegetable that you chuck when you are preparing veggies for stir-fry, or grilling, or steaming.
We had people over last weekend and I prepared a big platter of grilled veggies, and for some unknown reason I kept all of the stuff I would normally have thrown away: zucchini tops, mushroom stems, the ends of the onions, eggplant pieces that weren’t the right size or shape.
I saved them all and threw them into the freezer in a zipper bag.
I was walking Madison yesterday through the neighborhood, and our neighborhood has tons of wild fennel growing kind of everywhere – out of rocks, on the side of the road, on no one in particular’s property. So I had this nutty idea – I grabbed a few handfuls of fennel tops as we were on our way home, and took the frozen bag o’stuff out of the freezer and threw it all into a pot with a gallon or so of water.
And I boiled it for a few hours.
Oh my goodness.
It had more flavor than any stock I have ever bought from the store, and honestly, had more flavor than chicken stock as well. And it didn’t taste like any of those vegetables exactly, it just tasted really rich.
After the cauldron had been going for awhile, I strained out all of the solids, and put the stock back on the stove and added some dry white beans. And then I let that boil away for a few hours. I added some leftover grilled onions (which are a big favorite in our house – so much flavor!) and when the beans were tender, I pulled out my handy-dandy immersion blender and pureed the whole thing.
It’s not like I work hard at finding vegetarian recipes but it’s a good thing when you find something you like, that’s easy to make, that’s actually healthy. I think this white bean soup will be a new regular feature at the Alexander home.
Now I just need more room in my freezer…