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Keep Those Stalks and Ends or Don’t Throw Those Away!!

By Humphrey Marshall, West Louisville Fresh Stop Market Shareholder

My best friend Annabelle and I love to cook together.  For the past three years we have cooked the annual Thanksgiving dinner at our church.  I always do a turkey stock for the broth and gravy. The first year I kept all the ends, peels, strips, etc., of all the fruits and vegetables that we used in a bowl on our worktable; she kept emptying it.  Finally, I said in a rather loud voice, “Quit throwing those away!” When she tasted the gravy, she knew why. The end pieces and the stuff that normally gets thrown away make an amazing and delicious stock.

And you don’t need meat. When my New Roots basket comes in, I take a plastic container and put it on my counter in the kitchen, As I am using my vegetables during the day, I keep all the stuff that you normally throw away in that container.  When I have enough, I pour water over it and boil it down and use that stock for soups and stews.  Anything can go in the stock pot—potato, carrot, turnip, radish or squash peelings, ends and stems of greens, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, okra-any vegetable. Beets and red cabbage will change the color, but I usually put them in too.  My formula is one quart of peelings and ends to one gallon of water. I put in on a low boil and when it starts to boil turn it down even more, so it is a simmer. You want to reduce it to a half gallon, and then taste.  If you feel like it needs to be reduced some more, do it. I rarely season it although I do season the final soup or stew. Cool off and strain out the solids. The stock freezes well in either plastic pint or quart containers, or put into ice cube trays, popped out and put into freezer bags. I froze a lot during the summer, and before the Corona virus hit made three different types of soup. I pulled the stock I had made in the summer out of the freezer and used that in my soups.

And if you want chicken stock, just add the bones and leftover pieces from your chicken or turkey to the vegetable ends and do it the same way.  Use beef bones or pieces for beef broth and ham bones for ham stock.  Yummy!!  So, don’t throw those peels, stems, etc. away!  Make some good stock!  Here’s a recipe of mine I will make once we are able to get kale and sweet potatoes in our shares

African Peanut Soup-makes 6 servings

1T peanut oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T grated ginger
2 t cumin
1/2t ground cardamom
1/2t cayenne pepper
5 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 T maple syrup
1 6oz can tomato puree
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, diced
4 cups curly kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place over medium heat.

When oil is hot, add the onion.  Sweat the onion, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamom and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add the stock, peanut butter, tomato puree, and maple syrup to the pot.  Stir well to fully blend everything- I usually use a whisk.  Add the sweet potato, raise the heat and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer, stirring occasionally until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  You may thin the soup with extra stock if it becomes too thick.

Stir in the kale.  You may need to add a bit at a time and let each addition wilt to make room for the next.

Let the mixture continue simmering for 5-10 minutes until the kale is tender and the soup is thick.

Remove the pot from heat and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.


Keep Those Stalks and Ends Or Don’t Throw Those Away!!
Humphrey Marshall

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