Homemade Vegetable Stock

Like many cooks, I use stock and broth all the time to boost the flavors of the food I make. It’s not too expensive — I like to buy the cardboard containers from Whole Foods for about two bucks. But what I never knew was how easy it is to make your own stock. And you don’t even have to buy new ingredients for it! Just use scraps from the veggies you use in your everyday cooking. So as somebody who hates wasting ingredients and loves experimenting in the kitchen, I had to try it.

All I do is add my food scraps into a gallon-sized bag in my freezer. Once the bag fills up, it’s time to make stock! It’s so easy — there’s almost no work involved. Just get in the habit of throwing your vegetable scraps in the freezer instead of the garbage and then boil some water. Let it sit over a flame, strain it, and you’ve got delicious homemade broth from nothing but odds and ends. Essentially, this is a free way to flavor your food.

Click here to read which vegetable scraps are ideal for making stock…

Mom’s Turkey Meatball Soup

Mom's turkey meatball soup

My mom is great at making soup. I, like many people, will never be able to cook quite like my mother. She came up with this recipe for a quick weeknight meal and it’s been in regular rotation at our house for some time now. I tried making it the other day and let me just say, it wasn’t as good as when mom makes it.

I love the recipe though, because it comes together quickly and uses a hunk of frozen spinach that you don’t even have to thaw ahead of time. I also like that the meatballs get thrown in the soup raw, although if you have the time and don’t mind getting another pan dirty, you can certainly brown them before adding to the stock pot.

Essentially, this is a shortcut recipe — a way to get a homemade soup quickly. Of course, the meatballs would taste better if they had garlic, parsely and parmesan mixed in. Of course, it would be better to brown them rather than to cook them in the soup. And it uses a bare minimum of ingredients, stuff I always have laying around. It doesn’t even call for chicken broth! Because sometimes, you just want a quick dish without all the fuss and this is a great way to do that.

With this recipe, I’m going to include notes from my mom. I’m not going to edit them because I love her Ukrainian take on the English language.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Thai Red Curry Shrimp Soup

thai red curry shrimp soup

I was feeling pretty sick the other night and needed some soup to soothe my soul. I had a spicy shrimp soup at a Thai restaurant years ago that was the inspiration for creating this recipe at home. I’m really glad it worked out. ┬áThe spiciness cleared out my sinuses and it came together pretty quickly with minimal effort. I will definitely be making this again.

This soup is pretty accessible. Usually Thai dishes call for exotic ingredients like kefir lime leaves, fish sauce and galangal. This is a Thai-style dish, so I just used what I had in my pantry. It tasted pretty close to the real thing so I’m happy with it and I’m glad I didn’t have to run to the store and search for things when I was sick.

The base is great, and I can imagine adding more veggies to make it into a full meal. Commenter Kathy D. suggested baby corn, beech mushrooms, bamboo shoots, chinese cabbage, and pea pods. I also think bell pepper, water chestnuts, straw mushrooms, and carrots would be great here.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…