Basic Vegetable Stock
Yield: About 2 1/2 quarts
Homemade vegetable stock is used throughout the world’s cuisines as a building block for a myriad of dishes. Homemade stocks are economical, nutritious and so very versatile. Here we offer you a basic recipe, but also give you some suggestions on ingredients to custom design your own creation.
- 2 carrots, cut in thick slices Add to list
- 4 ribs celery, cut in thick slices Add to list
- 1 large onion, peel left on and cut into wedges Add to list
- 1 large leek, cut into thick slices Add to list
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed Add to list
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil Add to list
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme Add to list
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary Add to list
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley Add to list
- 2 bay leaves Add to list
- 4 whole cloves Add to list
- 6 peppercorns Add to list
- Salt and pepper, to taste Add to list
- (See note on adding additional ingredients for flavoring) Add to list
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Combine the carrots, celery, onions, leeks and garlic in a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, (stirring once or twice to distribute the browning) until they are starting to caramelize around the edges. If you would like your vegetables a little darker, you can turn your broiler on and broil them to a richer brown. Don’t let them burn!
With a length of kitchen twine, tie the sprigs of herbs together with the bay leaves into a bundle. This is your bouquet garni.
Pour 4 quarts of cold water into a soup pot and add the roasted vegetables, bouquet garni, cloves and peppercorns. Bring the pot to a simmer. You should only see a few bubbles intermittently rising to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 2 hours. During the cooking process, add a little more liquid to the pot if needed to keep the ingredients submerged.
Strain the stock, pressing hard on the vegetables to squeeze out the juices. Discard the vegetables.
Season the stock with salt and pepper.
Important note: With a batch of stock this size it is important to cool it as quickly as possible. Here are 2 good methods:
1) Place the pot in a bath of ice water in your sink, and stir occasionally until it is cooled, then refrigerate
2) Let the stock cool for about 15 minutes, then pour into individual canning jars (cleaned and sterilized) and put them directly in the refrigerator. Leave a little room at the top of the jar to allow for expansion when freezing.
You can store the stock in the refrigerator for several days or if you are not going to use it within that period, freeze it for up to several months.
There are many delightful ways to custom design your stock to make it unique to your taste or to use for various regional dishes. Below is a list of options categorized by when they would be added to the stock. Start with small amounts of each ingredient you would like. A little goes a long way in a gently flavored stock. You always can add more.
In the beginning with the roasted vegetables:
- Hard spices such as mustard seed, fennel seed, coriander, cumin, anise, etc.
- Other woody herbs such as sage or oregano
30 minutes before straining the stock:
- Mushrooms or mushroom stems
- Aromatics such as ginger root, lemongrass, lime leaves, etc.
- Sea vegetables (packed with nutrients) such as arame, kombu or dulse
15 minutes before straining the stock:
- Tender herbs such as basil, dill, cilantro, chervil, etc.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.