I find making something I've only ever bought in the store to be a most enlightening kitchen activity. Lke making pasta sauce from scratch when you've only ever had it from the jar. Or, making bread, where the first step is gathering the wheat.
I suppose going through the effort to make humble staples helps to connect the dots on how food really works. You can spend a lifetime going to the cabinet and pulling out flour without ever asking: where does flour come from? How does it work? And of course, something empowering about knowing yeah, I could make that. I may choose not to, but I could.
Today's recipe: basic vegetable stock. In many respects, this is as boring as a recipe can get. First of all, there are all manner of broth's available to you at the store. And second of all, the recipe couldn't be more simple: saute veggies for 10 minutes, add 2 quarts of water, bring to boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Even with such simplicity, I'm still amazed at the results: you've turned water and random veggies into soup broth. It doesn't seem like it should work, but it does. It's so basic, and yet so magical. And while soup broth on its own isn't particular exciting, it's the basis for many other recipes.
I've now tried this veggie broth recipe twice. The second time the broth came out decidedly darker and spicier than the first. Though, the spicy part was by design as I dropped a jalapeno into the collection of veggies.
Here's an action shot, where I've added sauteed mushrooms and onions to make the soup stock into something more soup like:
Oh, and it's worth noting that the recipe is: Vegetarian, Vegan, Kosher, Kosher for Passover, low-salt and can be made from whatever veggies you have lying around.