A group of friends and I do a soup swap every few months. I'm very lucky to be friends with some amazing women who are adventurous in food. I always come home with 6 quarts of over-the-top delish soup. I highly recommend organizing a swap among your friends. I'm also lucky to have very organized friends, because if this were left up to me, it'd never happen. If you are disorganized, you should find organized friends.
We are swapping on Sunday, and I'm planning to make this. (Although this also seems like it would be amazing!) To make it extra yummy, I'll be using both plain ol' veggie broth and mushroom broth. I posted about stock before, but I wanted to get a bit more in-depth about why stock is awesome.
We live on a pretty tight budget, so I need to be pretty careful with what I spend. I am sure we could spend a lot less on food if we ate more junk food. But I want to balance our finances with feeding my family healthy food. After all, it doesn't save much money to eat junk now and end up with all kinds of health problems down the road. I concentrate on finding a balance. Making stock from scratch is, I feel, one of the greatest examples of this. For almost no added cost, it adds huge value. Almost anything you make with homemade stock will be yummier than food made with water or store-bought stock. Food made truly from scratch means we actually want to eat at home. It also means we use the odds and ends of vegetables that might otherwise get tossed. And this means I'm saving the world. You all owe me big time.
My vegetable stock recipes are based on recipes from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone recipes. This is a phenomenal resource. And I scored mine at a garage sale for $1. I basically ripped it out of another lady's hand. I'm sure she didn't really need it. Madison has a stock recipe for pretty much every kind of soup. I use her Basic Stock Recipe most of the time, with my own changes and additions. Tonight I'm making her Mushroom Stock. This stock makes everything better. I'm considering giving Ellis frozen Mushroom Stock to put on owies instead of the weird Elmo thing full of cold red goo. It could work.