The best way to add some variety to those lentils you’re likely or supposed to be consuming every day: stock and spices. With those two additions, they’re actually quite addicting.
Now, two quick confessions. 1) I normally prefer meat stock to veggie stock 2) Until I started Slow Carb, I’d never made my own stock before.
Prior to Slow Carbing, I only really used stock for actual soups on the rare occasion I made a soup requiring it or to cook rice (much better than cooking in water if you’ve never tried it.) With that said, I was pleasantly surprised with how good this veggie broth is.
After my accidental discovery that the stock I was using was full of all sorts of non-Slow-Carb-friendly nasties and I couldn’t find a better alternative, I decided I’d start making my own. Since I don’t normally have 5lbs of chicken bones on hand in the kitchen, I decided to experiment with making a veggie stock. I figured, at the very least, it’d be better than cooking or simmering lentils in water.
I reached out to a few friends for suggestions, and here are the results of my first attempt at veggie stock.
- 1-2 onions, quartered
- 5-6 garlic cloves, smashed or chopped coarsely
- 2 stalks of celery, washed and chopped into a few large pieces so they fit in the pot
- 3 or 4 carrots washed and chopped into a few large pieces (no need to peel, just wash first or throw in some baby carrots)
- Any other veggies (or veggie scraps) you have on hand – turnips, cabbage, spinach, pumpkin, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
- Sea Salt or Veggie Salt
- Italian Seasonings
- 12 cups water
- Put 3 cups of water into a stockpot or any large pot. Turn heat to medium-high heat until boiling.
- Add onions and garlic and simmer over medium heat until liquid reduces to almost nothing.
- Add the rest of the water and other vegetables.
- Add 1-2 Tbs of Italian Style Seasonings. I’m partial to Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset, but any sort of Italian herbs with no sugar or additives will do. Some people put their herbs in cheesecloth, but I don’t bother.
- Simmer for about 90 minutes. Taste the stock. If it’s full-bodied, it’s done. If not, keep simmering a bit longer.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Approximately 1 Tbs of Sea Salt or Veggie Salt should do.
- Strain veggies and collect stock in a jar or another pot if you’re planning on cooking right away. The stock should keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.
TIP #1 – Keep a pyrex container in the fridge to save your veggie scraps throughout the week to make a stock.
TIP #2 – Depending on what veggies you used for your stock, you can use the leftover, strained veggies in a lentil dish. They’ll be nice an softened already.
TIP # 3 – Freeze stock into ice cubes or quart-sized ziplock bags to use.