Penny-wise Corn Cob Vegetable Stock


I dare you to find a recipe that is more frugal than one that uses spent corn cobs as the main ingredient. Go ahead. Try.

I saw this idea a while back on Eats Well with Others, a fabulous food blog I follow religiously. A few nights ago we had sweet delicious fresh corn with dinner, leaving kernel-free cobs at the end. Perfect timing to try this unusual recipe. Joanne, I put you to the test and you did not fail me! I was afraid the stock would be too sweet, and too, well, corn-y. It was not at all either of those. It reminded me a bit of chicken stock, actually, but just a tiny bit sweeter.

Joanne, I hope you don’t mind that I added a few touches of my own: cumin seeds because – hey! – cumin is great in everything; a few dashes of Frank’s; some fresh lime juice. And, OK, it’s confession time: I went to watch the new episode of The Next Food Network Star and accidentally left it simmering the whole time. So, it simmered much longer than you recommended, Joanne – but – I found that that somehow gave it a more “toasted” flavor, if that makes sense. A happy accident!

Next time you’re tempted to buy that veg stock at the store and spend a fortune for a few cups, try this trick and you’ll have a flavorful broth for only pennies!


Finished Stock – Similar in taste to Chicken Stock

Corn Cob Vegetable Stock

Makes about 4 cups

6 corn cobs, kernels removed
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, crushed
A few sprigs of thyme leaves
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
A few dashes cayenne pepper sauce
Juice of one lime

Cover and simmer all of the above ingredients for about 1 hour.

Strain off stock and season with salt and pepper as desired, cayenne pepper sauce, and lime juice.

Other bloggers do veggie stocks:
Vegetable Stock, Andrea Meyers
Organic Vegetable Stock, Organic To Be
Roasted Vegetable Stock, Je Mange La Ville
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock, The Soup Chick
Full Flavored Vegetable Stock, Stone Soup

— posted by Donna


  1. says

    I didn’t know you had a foodie site, too! (Until I just read about it on your birthy blog). I do, too, but it’s pretty dormant right now.

    I just wanted to say I love the recipe, and I love the Next Food Network Star. I was rooting for Aarti the whole time – I am so glad she won! I am bummed, thought, because I missed her premier show. Anyway, just wanted to do a little NFNS groupie talk and say hooray foodie/birthy folks.

  2. says

    Oh, my chickens are going to be so upset! They love to eat our corn cobs, it’s their favorite treat. Too bad for them!

    In 19th-century cookbooks, I’ve seen recipes for corn cob jelly. Apparently it tastes just like apple jelly and can be used that way. Some of the same cookbooks also have recipes for a “honey” made of corn cobs and sugar simmered in water until it thickens and reduces. Pioneers were always so frugal!

    • says

      Kimberly – Wow. Corn cob jelly – I feel like the gauntlet has been thrown down. MUST try this! Thanks for the great pioneer food info. Do you have a book on pioneer cooking that you like? Where do you read about such?

      • says

        Oops, I just now saw this! I love old cookbooks. I started with “The Little House Cookbook” – someone in the 1970’s went through the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and figured out how to make all the foods mentioned in it – and worked my way back from there! My favorite is “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.” It was first published in 1896, but includes a lot of recipes and information relating to food knowledge throughout the 1800’s. There are also menus, cleaning tips, the works.

        They’ve reprinted it several times, so you can get it on Amazon. I don’t see a copy of my edition, which is very classy looking in hardcover with gold-leaf edges and all of the original text in its original language, but any of them would be a pleasure to read. I often leaf through mine on rainy days, looking for inspiration!

  3. Anne says

    If bacon ice cream can be delicious, then I say hot sauce ice cream is a given! (I’m dead serious. Make some! I have my own ice cream recipe coming soon . . . )

  4. Kris says

    My husband and I use watermelon rinds in stir-fry dishes. Tastes like some kind of squash or cuke. How’s that for frugal!?!
    We have also cooked ears of corn in clear soups for more flavor (adds flavor to the corn and to the soup), but I like your idea of making stock from the cobs.


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