What do you do with the skins of your vegetables? You know. After you make that big salad or vegetable soup? Did you realize that they could have a second life before they are banished to the composter?
For years, I peeled carrots, chopped off the bottom of celery, and tore off garlic and onion skins. The skins would enviably end up in a bowl bound for the composter. Deep down inside, I knew these skins had another purpose. The skins are full of nutrients. Throwing in the composter just seemed like a waste.
Then one day it hit me. How about using them to make vegetable stock? The good part of using my “peels” is I could control the salt content of the broth. Take a look at how much salt you are eating when you use canned or Tetra Pak stock. Shocking.
As I pondered this idea, I found very little guidance on the web as to which vegetables to use. Nor could I find out if there is a magic ratio of certain vegetables to others. All I learned was do not use potato skins since it makes the stock taste too earthly. Honestly, I really didn’t understand what that meant.
The Sweet Beet suggested adding onion, celery, carrots, garlic clove, and additional spices to your “peels”. Although her recipe sounds great, I tried the au natural method.
I Flunked My First Peel Base Soup Attempt.
My first attempt of making peel stock was a disaster. Once the peel soup idea started to percolate in my mind, I started saving the skins in a freezer bag. When the bag was full, it was time to make soup.
Everything but the kitchen sink when into the crock-pot. Carrots, celery, potato, onion, garlic bottoms and skins, mushrooms and even turnips. If a vegetable looked limp, it ended up in the crock-pot. Then I covered the skin disaster with water and let the brew cook for eight hours.
When I opened the lid, I was so excited. There I stood. Beaming and patting myself on the back and admiring my creation.
Guess what? Boy was I delusional. One sniff of this brew could scare off any unwanted animal from my property.
I guess I should have listen to the “don’t put potato skins” in the pot advice.
However, this failed attempt didn’t deter me.
Second Attempt. Knowledge is Power.
So, I blew my first attempt. No lost. There is always another try. I began my squirrel- like habit of storing my peels in the freezer. In a short time, I had a bag full of potato free skins.
All the peels were thrown in the crock-pot. Even the limp carrots. Then I turned on the crock-pot on low, filled the pot up with water, and forgot about it for 24 hours! Oh man, was I on a roll. I burnt the vegetables! Check out my video below that gives you a peek at my concoction.
However, I was able to salvage the stock. It smelt worse with the burnt vegetables, but once I strained it the smell went away.
What did it taste like? For some unknown reason, the brew tasted like a mushroom broth. Strangely, I didn’t throw in any mushrooms. I stored the broth in old glass spaghetti sauce jars in the refrigerator. I estimated that a pot full of vegetable peels makes about 4 cups of broth.
What I Learned
For my third attempt, I have learnt by my mistakes. Third time is the charm. Right?
- Only fill the pot up with 2/3rd vegetables and water
- Don’t use earthy skins such as mushrooms or potato peels.
- Only cook for 10 hours on low.
Join the Conversation:
- Have you made vegetable peel broth?
- If so, what type of peels do you use? Any particular ratio of certain vegetables to others? Provide us with a link to your recipe.
- Do you make vegetable stock in a crock-pot or on the stove?