Our favorite produce stand at our neighborhood farmer’s market was fresh out of the classic, Bugs Bunny-style orange carrots we’re accustomed to buying, so I resorted to the red carrots, thinking the novel color would appeal to the kids. Three year old Desmond thought they were hilarious looking, and then was thoroughly dissapointed to find that, upon peeling, they reverted to the now humdrum orange hue. Even more dissapointing was that they lacked the sweetness that kids like in a carrot.
As I’ve written earlier, we’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning out the old produce drawer on market days by making a quick vegetable stock. Not only does it minimize food waste, but it also comes in handy now that we’re full-on into soup season. It’s also fun to let the kids prep the stock. You can let them rip up the old vegetables in any old way, as a stock doesn’t have to be pretty in the preparation. You can also let them top it with cold water, before you get the flame going. It’s a nice lesson in the alchemical nature of a long slow simmer and a few ingredients treated smartly. So into the sunday stock the red carrots went.
Things were a bit crazy at home, and I knew we had less time than usual for our sunday coooking routine, so I also picked up a whole roasted chicken from the roast chickenmobile that cooks and sells rotiserrie birds. Back at the house, I boned the roasted bird and threw the carcass into the stock.
Also into it went:
tons of fennel tops
parsley and cilantro stems
one big, sad onion
a handful of pepper corns
a wilted fresh bay leaf
last week’s now flexible carrots
I put that all into a stock pot, covered it with water, and
simmered it for two hours or so.
I skimmed it, strained it, and cooled it down. And in the refrigerator the rich sits, perfectly at home, waiting to be turned into a lovely winter soup.