Here is a good recipe to use up vegetables that are just past their prime. If you don't have as much as you need at one time to make vegetable stock, throw them into the freezer until you have all the ingredients you need. This is a great way to cut down on waste and make something healthy at the same time. You don't have to have all the vegetables listed below- use whatever you have on hand and make substitutions as needed.
2 large chopped onions or 2 large cleaned leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced
1 cup chopped carrot
3 chopped celery stalks, leaves included
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup potato peels
1 cup tomato skins, if desired
1 cup fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add the onions or leeks and the carrots. Cook until onions begin to brown. Add the water and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Strain stock and discard solids, squeezing as much liquid out of them as possible. Season broth to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 6 cups.