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Stocking up!

Making your own stock with fresh vegetables is a great way to get the goodness of vegetables without the drama of presenting your child with a mountain of broccoli

For my stock I generally use whatever vegetables I have lying around but here’s the stock recipe I made last night.

1/2 head of broccoli
2 carrots chopped
2 carrot tops (full of goodness mainly chlorophyll) spinach or other dark green leafy could be used here instead.
2 shallots chopped
1 chopped deseeded red chilli (not essential)
A few fresh basil leaves

Cover all ingredients in a pan with cold water and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veg is all soggy and over cooked. Strain and set aside to use as needed discarding the vegetables.

The green vegetables should have leached some of their colour into the water making it look very healthy indeed. Don’t worry it won’t look green when used so your kiddies will never know!

I used this stock as my liquid for a risotto so the chilli added a nice flavour but for other dishes it’s not essential. As I said earlier I just used he vegetables I had lying about so here is a more traditional stock recipe.

2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 onions
2 bay leaves
Pinch of salt and pepper.

Chop everything and cook as above. Pretty much anything can be added garlic, fresh herbs, cabbage, leeks, fennel etc you can be as experimental or traditional as you like.

You can then use the stock for anything that absorbs water, risotto, stew, rice and of course as a healthy base for soups.

I pan fried some prawns and chopped shallots, threw in four handfuls of pearl barley and covered with stock. As it cooked I added more and more stock until it was all absorbed. I stirred in a spoonful of butter to make it nice and glossy and served with a grating of Parmesan over he top. Delicious!

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