Before I start with my no waste soup recipe, I just wanted to say that 2013’s Fairtrade Fortnight has started (25th February – 10th March), and it is a perfect opportunity to try and be more sustainable and “Go Further” by choosing Fairtrade items 🙂 By purchasing the Fairtrade products you love you will also be supporting the farmers and workers who produce them in developing countries.
There are many ways to incorporate more sustainable Fairtrade products into your life, something for each month of the year, as I wrote in last year’s Fairtrade Goodies post.
For more information on why and how to get involved, have a look at the Fairtrade Website – did you know that rich countries waste as much food as the total annual food production of sub-Saharan Africa??
Last week I finally made stone soup (or home made vegetable scraps stock), and that, I’m glad to say, involves making the very most of all the vegetables you buy or grow with very little or nothing left to waste. Sustainability at its best! 😀
I first heard about using vegetables scraps, especially if organic, when my sister told me about something she heard from a programme called “Zero Waste”.
The way to make home made stock cubes at a cost of £0.00 is to keep ALL scraps such as carrots peels, courgette ends, onions’ and garlic’s outer skin, asparagus woody ends etc. and once you have enough, dehydrate them in a low oven at about 100C for about 4-5 hours (or a dehydrator if you have one of course), or lay them out on a tray for a whole hot sunny day, turning them around so they sun-dry evenly.
Once they are dry, whizz them up in small pieces in a food processor or using a pestle and mortar and then add 2x times the quantity of rock or fine sea salt.
You can put the dry mix in a jar and keep it in the fridge for months and it would be a very cute present for a food lover too.
An additional way to reduce waste is to always keep unwaxed lemons and oranges’ peels by peeling them off with a potato peeler (minding to leave the bitter pith off) as they are very rich in flavour, microelements and vitamins and use them in desserts, on vegetables, pasta or even in cocktails.
You can store them in the freezer and use them whenever needed. 🙂
This time I tried to make stone soup inspired by J-F, blogger on 222 million tons. I tried to make it even more sustainable by adding as many seasonable vegetables as possible in it: I checked the Eat the Seasons website and chose some leeks, parsnips, potatoes, swede and turnips for my soup.
I also bought some purple kale (which was half price as in season), shallots and Brussels sprouts to stock up on additional vegetables in season.
To make my stone soup I started “collecting” parts of vegetables I would normally discard -and unfortunately throw in the bin as we don’t have a garden for compost or a food waste collection service 😦 – and freezing them.
Every time I peeled or chopped some vegetables after washing them, I put the peels, skins, tips etc. in a box in the freezer (you could use a freezer bag too of course).
These quickly added up and I decided to make my stone soup by simply putting all the scraps in a big pot, covering them with water, adding some peppercorns and bringing them to a boil and then letting them simmer for about 45 minutes.
I then strained the stock and pressed the vegetables to get all the flavour and stock out, you can use the vegetable scraps for your compost heap after that. About a litre of stock came out of the scraps and it tasted delicate, but still tasty and sweet as I had sweet potato peels in it too.
I used about half of it and I froze the rest, I added some water, herbs, my vegetables and pre-soaked pulses and made some of my usual vegan warming country soup (with added chilli sauce as I am a little obsessed): no-waste stock, vegetables in season and vegan, so pretty sustainable and very nice!
An interesting article from another blog, The Garden of Eating, lists some of the vegetables you may want to avoid using for the stock as they have very overpowering flavours such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and artichokes.
Have you tried making your own stock?
Do you have any tips to make the most of something and waste less?