Tomato-Vegetable Stock

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I am on a quest for homemade vegetable stock. When I was paleo, it was fine to just make bone broth all the time, chicken broth sometimes, and not worry about the fact that I was essentially pouring meat into everything I was cooking, otherwise vegetarian or not. Meat on paleo equals protein, bone broth equals gelatin, and all of that was fine with me.

But as I attempt to make this a food blog more about eating healthy, no matter what your diet might be, it occurred to me that some of you would prefer to not ingest cow every time you make soup. You also might prefer to not have to handle oxtails and hacked-off parts of an animal skeleton.

I know this. I get you. We have an understanding.

The challenge is to find a way to make vegetable stock that is not insipid, uninspired. It’s not easy. You know what you get when you boil bones? Bone broth. You know what you get when you boil a carrot? Carrot water.

The secret in this case is a can of diced tomatoes. It adds body, flavor, and color to the stock without overpowering everything else. That being said, you can definitely smell the tomato, and so this would be an awesome stock for minestrone, tomato soup, or anything that could benefit from a little boost of that flavor. I may use it for risotto this week.

This stock is vegan, for those of you who are interested, but could easily be made paleo by eliminating the soy sauce and replacing it with fish sauce (no longer vegan) or coconut aminos. As for the “trimmings,” I used some leftover grilled zucchini and bell pepper, but you can use just a bell pepper or whatever you have that you think might be good.

I’m still working on that more traditional vegetable stock, but until I find it, I hope this tides you over. I suspect I’m going to need to procure (and figure out how to clean) a leek. Sigh.

Slow-Cooker Tomato-Vegetable Stock
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved and wedged
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, peeled, halved and wedged
  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered (or replace with 1.5 cups vegetable trimmings saved over the week)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cups water (or however much you need to fill the slow cooker pot)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce, fish sauce, or coconut aminos)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Pour olive oil into the bottom of your slow cooker, then add all the vegetables. Fill slow cooker tub with water to the fill line, about six cups. Add thyme, parsley, soy sauce, vinegar, and stir.
  2. Cook on low for eight to ten hours, or longer, if you like. When ready, scoop out vegetable debris with a slotted spoon, then strain stock into a storage container. Skim off fat, if any. Store in fridge for up to a week.
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