Dried Vegetable Stock Mix

stockmixpI have just come back from another short trip by car. This time it was Berlin. Upon my arrival the fridge was totally empty (no chicken simmered in gochujang this time…) apart from some seriously wilted and generally dying vegetables, leftover from a stock I made two weeks before. I cut them into pieces and dried on my radiators (in warmer seasons I put them into the oven running at the lowest temperature, see the explanation below). Afterwards, they were put into a jar to become an emergency solution when I don’t have time to go and buy fresh vegetables but want to make chicken stock. I know many home cooks who always throw away wilted, slightly dried vegetables found at the bottom of the fridge drawers, so I thought it might be a good idea to share this simple way to avoid food waste.

Everyone uses slightly different ingredients in meat or vegetable stock making process. Some people add cabbage, some use celery… My stock pan always contains – dried or fresh – carrots, green leek parts, celeriac and parsley root (which is difficult to get here, so as soon as I buy it, I dry it). I also put a fresh onion and in recent years I have also started to add a piece of ginger, which doesn’t change the taste, but somehow makes the stock more dynamic, fresh and simply better. Ginger and onions are the only ingredients I never use here in dried form mainly because I always have them fresh in my fridge and, in the case of ginger, because its taste becomes too harsh after the drying process. (I also prepare a special stock only for Japanese ramen soups, but it differs slightly in both the preparation and the ingredients’ list. See the recipe here.)

In case you have some wilted daikon (white radish) or apples, you might consider drying them too. Dried daikon makes excellent pickles and dried apples are a delicious snack.

Daikon (Dried and Pickled)

Daikon (Dried and Pickled)

Apples

Apples

Tomatoes (Semi-Dried)

Tomatoes (Semi-Dried)

TIPS: You can mix the dried vegetables in one jar or store all of them separately or store just one vegetable separately if you cannot get it easily or if you buy it rarely. I store separately parsley root because it’s difficult to get here and I dry a big batch as soon as I manage to buy it. Even if other vegetables are fresh, I have to use dried parsley root most of the time.

The ratio between different vegetables depends on your preferences. I usually try not to put too many carrots because the stock might end up sweetish. My leek-carrot-celeriac ratio is – approximately – 4:2:1.

Once the vegetables are dried, you can mix them in a food processor to obtain powdered vegetable stock.

If you don’t stock onion (as I have mentioned I always have it in my fridge), you can also add it to your mixture.

I don’t advise using dried ginger in stocks. The taste becomes much stronger than when using fresh ginger.

Preparation: several hours – several days depending on the drying method

Ingredients:

green parts of the leek

carrots

celeriac

parsley root

Wash the vegetables, cut them into small pieces of your choice (I cut the leek into thick slices, slice the carrot and parsley root with a mandolin and cut the celeriac into big sticks).

If the vegetables are wilted, it might be difficult to peel them, so I just brush them thoroughly.

Place the vegetable pieces on baking paper and dry them choosing one of the below methods:

———DRYING ON A RADIATOR:

Cut a piece of baking paper similar in size and shape to the surface of your radiator.

Place the vegetable pieces, making sure they do not touch each other.

If your radiators are very thin or have another form which doesn’t allow placing a flat piece of baking paper, you can use the STOVE-DRYING method (see below).

The vegetables are ready when they are completely dry. It takes one to three days depending on your radiator’s temperature and the size of the vegetable pieces.

Put the dried cool vegetables in a jar with a lid (or in separate jars). They will keep at least for a year (no need to refrigerate).

———DRYING IN THE OVEN:

Preheat the oven to 50°C (122°F).

Place the vegetable pieces on baking paper, making sure they do not touch each other.

Taste them every 4-5 hours to check the dryness (they should be completely dry).

The drying process can be divided into several days.

Put the dried, cool vegetables in a jar with a lid. They will keep at least for a year (no need to refrigerate).

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “Dried Vegetable Stock Mix

  1. A_Boleyn

    How economical of you and forethinking. I have to admit to buying my dried veggie soup mix from the bulk food store. :) I really like the dried leek addition to your soup mix.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, A_Boleyn. I was hesitating a lot before posting this simple tip… but I thought maybe it will give some people ideas. I always add leek green leaf parts to the stock and frankly practically never use them in any other way.

  2. Gintare @Gourmantine

    So, how did you like Berlin? It’s a town with which you either fall in love immediately or don’t warm up at all, well at least every one I know are divided between the two :)
    p.s. drying is such a clever idea.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Gintare. I liked Berlin a lot, although maybe after only two days I shouldn’t give my opinion ;-) I always crave big, dynamic, intellectually stimulating cities and Berlin is definitely one of them. I have also been pleasantly surprised by the politeness and warmth of the people I had contact with (I had heard before negative opinions about the capital’s inhabitants). I hope to come back and explore more districts, but it was a nice introduction.

  3. Eva

    You are very clever Sissi, I have not thought of drying vegetables. I usually have dried onions and mushrooms on hand and of course I always have a multitude of beans and lentils, usually some rice noodles and a variety of rice and barley so a quick supper is always close at hand. But I have never dried my own vegetables. We have large freezers in North America so I usually have frozen ingredients (such as leeks and home made tomato sauce and chicken stock) but your drying leeks sounds fantastic! I bet the flavour is better than frozen too. I too have radiators and I know you have blogged about drying foods on the rads, I’ve not tried it yet. Thanks again for the reminder and the fabulous idea for soups.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Eva. We don’t have the US/Canadian habit of freezing everything (even people who have big freezers don’t freeze as much). I remember when I started to read US recipes and there were so many mentions about the possibility of freezing cakes or doughs, I was so surprised! I also freeze some vegetables (some are not very good dried or just different). It’s just that they take space in my precious little freezer… My radiator in the kitchen is practically constantly occupied by some stuff (now I have some chillies drying).

  4. Zsuzsa

    I like this post Sissi. I always liked drying summer’s bounty, but upon purchasing a food dehydrator last summer, I have become a produce drying maniac. Nothing is ever wasted and you are correct; it comes handy at times! I have a lot of dried things accumulated so now and I use it all the time. I will throw a bit of dried stuff into the pot and simply let it reconstitute while the dish rests. I learned to label the jars, dried strawberries are not so good with chicken paprika. :-)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Zsuzsa. If I bought a dehydrator, I would become crazy! I’d dry practically everything. Oh, yes… unlabelled jars.. I have several unlabelled jars with some ground spice and I have no idea what it is.

  5. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    This is just ingenious Sissi. You are so right about the tendency to throw out wilted produce and this is the perfect solution (and I remember the clever use of your radiator to dry veggies in the past). I especially appreciate this mix this time of year as I’m always craving soup (especially bouillons/stock). You know what else? Your jar is gift beautiful. So pretty with the contrasting colours, curls and contours. I would seriously be delighted to receive this as a gift – just love the idea! Thank you. Sounds like you have been working in lots of travel lately… good for you!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Kelly, for all the compliments! As usually you surprise me with kind words about a difficult photograph… or rather subject. I’m really flattered. The travels were very short, but it’s so nice to be able to see the places in this half-holiday way. The perspective is completely different.

      1. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

        what an interesting observation about your holidays… as for the photography, I think sometimes when we get to close to something we cease to see it for what it is. This photo is lovely – the colours, the contrasts, the varying shapes. The lighting is just right too – perfectly clear without being overexposed.

  6. nipponnin

    Thank you for the information. I have welted daikon right now so I will try your method. Great pics1 I especially love the semi-dried tomato one. You must be very busy person… traveling around all over. Take care.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Nipponnin. I strongly advise the pickled daikon! It’s incredibly good! I wish I were busier travelling more often ;-) (Not only office-busy!).

  7. mjskit

    What a great post! Believe it or not, I’ve never made a vegetable stock. I do save the cooking water from boiling potatoes and beans and such, then freeze it and use it in soups. I’ve never dried veggies for a stock but what a GREAT idea! I don’t have a radiator, but could definitely use the oven. What a great way to prevent vegetable waste! You’re a genius my friend!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, MJ. (I’m not a genius! You are so sweet :-) ). I never make vegetable stock either. I meant I use these vegetables for a chicken stock. (Sorry, my English explanations are not always clear).

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks a lot, Juliana and congratulations for the comeback! I’m hopping to see your new web space!

  8. Katerina

    This is a great idea to use leftover veggies dying in the fridge. As a kid I couldn’t appreciate what my mother was saying about wasted food and how we should not throw anything! As a grown up I realize how sad and unfair it is to throw food whereas in other places of this earth people die because of its lack. Your idea is perfect not only because you don’t throw anything, but also because you have something handy in case of an emergency! Have a great day my friend!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Katerina. I also remember hating to hear from my grandmother that people used to starve during the war… I would have been more convinced by other arguments. I must say even now I prefer to think I save money this way or respect the work of a farmer…

  9. elisabeth@foodandthrift

    Sissi, I think dried vegetables are super great, even added with fresh ones or frozen ones to a great soup or stew. Such a fabulous idea and recipe you shared that is greatly appreciated! I think a pretty homemade jar of dried vegetables would be a lovely Christmas gift for a friend…I wouldn’t just give a special gift like this to just anyone:) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks a lot, Elisabeth. I have never thought of this humble mix as a gift, but would be more than happy to offer it to you :-)

  10. shuhan

    THIS IS SUCH A FRIGGING AWESOME IDEA SISSI. Sorry for typing in caps but this is really brilliant! Sometimes you just want a quick stock but you just don’t have the time to go get stock ingredients and simmer forever. My version of quick veggie stock is made from grinding up dried kelp and/or dried shiitake mushrooms, and the fish stock from ground dried anchovies. Thanks for the new ideas!!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Shuhan, thank you so much for such a kind and enthusiastic comment! I was so worried my readers would consider this post as ridiculous… I’m glad it gave you an idea. Your quick stock recipes sound excellent!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Nami. I’m so relieved it’s a new idea to so many people because I was worried the tip might be boring… I have made several trips in such a short time. All of them were fantastic. They were so intense and tiring I haven’t even taken one photo…

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