June 8, 2016

Pro tip from chef José Andrés: make stock from veggie peelings

Use this recipe to give your stews and soups richness while also combating food waste

According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 133 billion pounds of food from grocery stores, restaurants, and homes goes uneaten.

Chef José Andrés wants to end this. Since his early days as a chef in D.C., he has been passionate about finding solutions to food waste. At a recent event in Washington, he partnered with organizations to show how even odd-looking vegetables can make a beautiful paella. Read more about the event here, and learn how to make his vegetable paella.

Here, he explains how to make a gorgeous stock from scratch.

— The Renewal Project editor Margaret Myers

I have a compost bin in my front yard, but it is much tastier to use onion skins, carrot peelings, and even leaves of celery to make a homemade stock. First, I make sure everything that is going into my stock is clean. I start with heating a little bit of Spanish olive oil in my pot, and then I like to add the scraps and sauté them for maybe five minutes. I use a generous quantity of scraps here. Then, I add cold water and heat it until it’s boiling. Finally, I lower the heat to a simmer and wait about an hour.

You do not have to worry too much about the timing. Somehow, while you wait, the vegetables will give their flavors to the water and that’s it! You strain the stock and you can compost whatever solids are left.

Making a stock or a stew cannot be easier. If you can make a big, beautiful pot of boiling water, you can do it. This spring, my family and I made grouper head with potatoes, a traditional dish from Catalonia in Spain. I am telling you: once you try making stock this way, you will not go back.

José Andrés

Chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup