When people hear the term “vegetable stock” they usually think; vegan, health nut, yuck or what? Turns out vegetable stock is not only healthy for you but very simple to make. …and it adds so much flavor and richness to your sauces, soups or gravies without adding a lot of calories.
As incentive to try this recipe, I will soon post another favorite recipe that uses this vegetable stock. It is one you won’t want to miss – so spend a few minutes cutting up some veggies and get them boiling in a pot. I promise it will be worth all the little effort this takes (seriously, yoga is more difficult than this is)!
Here is my basic recipe for vegetable stock (if you want to call it a recipe). It is also adaptable for whatever you have on hand at the time I make it. For example, today I added mushrooms and potato skins…who knew.
1 large onion (skins and all, they give the broth a brown color)
4-5 stalks celery, including some leaves
3-4 large carrots (unpeeled, tops and all)
8 cloves garlic, (skins and all, smash cloves with side of a chefs knife)
8 sprigs fresh parsley (or 1 tbs dried)
6 sprigs fresh thyme(or 1 tbs dried)
2 bay leaves
6-8 peppercorn (optional)
Enough water to fill the pot
- Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Remember, the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor.
- Add everything into the pot. Cover with water until water reaches 2 inches below top of pot. Cook over high heat until stock begins to boil. Then turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Continue adding water while cooking to keep water level high, if needed.
- Strain the stock into a large bowl, press the vegetables to get all the liquid out and discard vegetable leftovers. Then pour into ice cube trays or any plastic containers.
- If you choose to freeze the stock, use ice cube trays and then transfer cubes to freezer bags for storage. Lable the bag with the date and what’s inside.
- Stock will keep a week in the fridge, or about a year when frozen.
To download this recipe click here.
Other ingredients to consider:
- Mushrooms, eggplant, corn cobs, fennel (stalks and trimmings), bell peppers, pea pods, chard (stems and leaves), celery root parings, marjoram (stems and leaves), basil, potato parings . . .I think you’re getting the idea. Just about anything goes! Oh, I haven’t tried an apple yet but they have said it adds great flavor. 🙂
Scraps to avoid:
- Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts or broccoli can be overpowering in the stock since they release unpleasant smells and flavor that can be too much.
- Vegetables that have gone bad, grown mold, or smell rotten should also be avoided. Basic rule of thumb to follow is this; if you don’t want to eat it, don’t throw it in the pot!
- Freezing all your vegetable scraps in a large gallon size freezer bag will make it even easier to make your stock. You’ll know it’s time to make stock when you can no longer put anything else in the bag. It’s so easy — there’s almost no work involved. Just get in the habit of throwing your vegetable scraps in the freezer instead of the garbage. Recycling, but better!