At Suzy DeYoung’s small but mighty La Soupe outpost in Newtown, flavorful soups and stews always start with a solid base—a rich and satisfying vegetable stock. By using excess produce from purveyors (think farmers and grocery stores) De Young provides food for those who live with less, while selling a variety of soups to go. “I have always had a passion for cooking for those who really need it,” she says. By enlisting local chefs for a “bucket brigade” effort, De Young has cranked up the heat on culinary generosity. She won’t stop until she reaches a rolling boil.
Suzy’s Vegetable Stock (makes 1/2 gallon)
Prep time 12 minutes
Cook time 2–6 hours
1 full stalk of celery
2 whole onions
2 sweet potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch parsley
a few sprigs of thyme or basil
2 bay leaves
8 quarts filtered water
1 tsp of sea salt
Rinse all vegetables and roughly chop. Do not peel or trim. In a 12-quart or larger stock pot, combine all ingredients, except for the salt.
When filling the pot with water, leave 2 to 3 inches from the top.
Bring the stock to a boil. Remove the lid carefully and lower the heat to a simmer for at least two hours. As the broth reduces you may need to add more filtered water. The vegetables should stay fairly submerged.
Strain the broth (pushing against the vegetable matter with the back of a ladle) through a fine strainer into a heat resistant container. Add salt to taste and allow to sit at room temperature to cool before refrigerating.
Store for up to 6 days or freeze for up to 4 months.