VEGETABLE STOCK - USING A FOOD PROCESSOR

VEGETABLE STOCK - USING A FOOD PROCESSOR

Makes about 2 quarts

Handy to have on hand as a base for soups and sauces. The processor minces and chops the vegetables in jig time, and to such a degree of fineness that the stocks flavor is unusually rich and well balanced.

1 very large Spanish onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (use a Spanish onion because the flavor is more delicate and less apt to turn bitter after hours of simmering)
4 large leeks, trimmed, washed very carefully and cut into 1-inch lengths
4 large clelery ribs, washed and cut into 1-inch lengths
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 med. turnips, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large, fully ripe tomatoes, washed, cored and cut into slim wedges (no need to peel)
1/2 lb. med. mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed and quartered (reserve stems)
6 large parsley branches, washed
8 peppercorns
2 bay leaves, crumbled
4 qts. cold water
1 T. salt - or to taste

In a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, mince the onion, one half at a time; add to kettle. Fine-mince leeks and celery together; add to kettle. Mince carrots and turnips using one 30-second churning of the motor for each. Add to kettle. Reduce the tomatoes to juice in the processor - work with only two tomatoes at a time, as the full amount will overflow the work bowl - and let the motor run nonstop 10 to 15 seconds for each batch. Add to kettle. Chop mushroom caps fine, then the stems (using processor); add to kettle with remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer slowly for 3 hours. Set a large sieve over a second large kettle and line with several thicknesses of cheesecloth; allow to drain undisturbed - do not force or press the strained out solids to extract extra liquid, because doing so will cloud the stock.

While the mixture drains, wash and dry soup kettle. Return strained stock to the kettle, set over moderte heat and allow to boil, uncovered, until the liquid is reduce to 2 quarts.

Trick: MARK THE INSIDE OF YOUR KETTLES AT 1, 2 AND 3 QUART LEVELS BY MAKING A TINY SCRATCH INSIDE THE KETTLE - you will know at a glance when stock has reduced sufficiently.

Taste for salt; add if needed.

Ladel into 1-pint freezer containers, cool to room temperature, cap, label and date - then quick freeze. This will keep about 1 year in the freezer.