Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cooking for Baby: Vegetable Stock

I decided to make a baked potato soup in my slow cooker, and that inspired me to finally make a veggie stock to use in baby purees while I was at it.

First, I sweated a mirepoix in a little olive oil. Then I added chopped garlic and leeks, and about 2 quarts of cold water. I brought it to a simmer and cooked it for about 30 minutes. Unlike beef, chicken, or lamb stocks, it's generally not a good idea to cook vegetable stocks for a long time. Since it was for the baby, I didn't add any salt (blech; a little boring to taste while cooking).

Well. I think that it turned out well, and I made some butternut squash to puree with the stock. I thought, "Oh, fresh, homemade food! Shubu will be so excited!" To the contrary; she turned her head, blew raspberries, and refused to eat more than one bite. She also refused to eat her favorite jarred carrots, as well, so I'm trying not to take it personally. Maybe tomorrow she will eat with gusto. Otherwise... anyone want six cups of frozen vegetable stock?

...

The potato soup was much better received. I adapted a recipe from the Crock Pot Girls on Facebook. Super simple and delicious. Into the cooker for 4 hours on high:
8 medium peeled and cubed Idaho potatoes
32 oz chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 gob of butter (maybe 2 tablespoons)
1 crap-ton of salt and pepper (maybe that's just my preference) (that's a crap-tonne, if you're British)

After 3.5 hours, slip in some sliced leeks (or green onions).

When 4 hours have passed, add 8 oz of heavy cream and take your potato masher to the lot. I like to leave a few big cubes of potato, and then a handful of shredded cheddar. Absolutely divine. And totally heart healthy.

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