This is the recipe I follow for stock. When I realized bento lunches were going to make veggie scraps, I looked at a few online, and tried this one from Simple Bites' Homemade Vegetable Soup 101I've only tried Method 2 so far - delicious!
Vegetable Stock: Two Methods4-6 cups of scrapsbay leafblack peppercornclove of garlic
Method 1: The QuickieAdd all ingredients to a 5 quart pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat.Reduce temperature to medium and simmer stock for one hour.Follow directions for straining and storing below.
Method 2: The Flavor BoosterPreheat oven to 450°F. Toss scraps and garlic lightly with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and place in a shallow roasting pan.Roast for 20-30 minutes (depending on size and variety of scraps) until caramelized, but not charred in any way.Transfer roasted vegetables to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add bay leaf and peppercorn and bring to a boil over high heat.Reduce temperature to medium and simmer stock for one hour.Follow directions for straining and storing below.Straining and Storing the StockCool stock completely to lukewarm, then strain and discard (or compost) the solids.Pour stock into clean jars, leaving a good half-inch of headspace. Cool completely in the refrigerator.Freeze for up to three months or store up to five days in fridge.
Making homemade veggie stock is just one of the ways I've made use of bento scraps. It's not all vegetable scraps after all, there are all those little bits of ham and cheese too ... one of the things I like to make with those leftovers is quiche, which I shared about in this post, and I hope to share more bento scrap recycling ideas in future posts :)