I used to spend a lot of money buying soup stock. At my house, we love soups, broths, chili, stews and risottos, so I can go through quite a bit of stock—and the good stuff isn’t cheap. But even worse was the fact that many of the stocks I found in stores—either in containers or as dissolvable cubes or pastes—have a breathtaking amount of sodium in them. I’m not anti-salt by any means, but I do like to be able to taste the other flavors in my soup.
Eventually, I decided to try to make some vegetable stock myself. I found a recipe in some cookbook I had on the shelf, and it called for two large onions, a carrot, some celery, a half-pound of mushrooms, a garlic bulb, some bay leaves and some thyme. I went out and bought all that stuff, chopped it up, made some stock and then threw all those lovely vegetables away. The result was delicious, but given the cost of all that produce, the stock ended up being even more expensive than the prepared stuff I’d gotten at the store!