Before soup season comes soup-starter season.
When my husband Edge farmed in Alaska, this was the “magic stuff” that started many meals throughout the winter months. If you don’t have veggie stock on hand, this preserve will make up for it fast. (I once had a roommate who always remembered to put veggie scraps in the freezer. When the bag was full, she’d pull it out to make stock. It always impressed me. To this day, I still don’t remember to do this).
The magic soup starter is a vegetable-salt preserve. With more salt than a kraut, it will keep without fermenting.
You can use any combination of vegetables. Here are my favorite:
You can go beyond these veggies, and add kale, beets, or any other root vegetable (just be aware that beets will turn your stock red). Alternatively, keep it simple with celery, carrots, and onion. The only rule in this recipe is 5 lbs of vegetables to 1 lb of salt.
Once made, store the soup starter in a cool, dark place (we keep ours in the pantry). We always go through it within 2 months. Kept longer than 3 months, the color in the vegetables will start to fade.
- 5 lbs of vegetables—any combination of:
- 1 lb salt
- Grate or finely chop the vegetables and herbs
- Weigh vegetable mix to 5 lbs
- Add 1 lb salt
- Mix thoroughly
- To store, pack tightly into glass containers
- To use: Sauté 1 heaping TBS of soup starter in 1 TBS olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add 4 C water, bring to a boil. Strain out the veggies for straight stock, or keep them in and add fresh vegetables to make vegetable soup.