Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock can be used to replace the meat stock or water in just about any recipe. It adds a hint of flavor and extra nutrition to soups, risotto, and more. This very basic recipe is really just a guideline – there is no right or wrong recipe for vegetable stock. You can add just about anything – a lone mushroom or tomato sitting in your fridge, the potato skins you didn’t want in your mashed potatoes – and if you don’t have one of the ingredients listed here, just substitute something else.

Yield 6 cups
Time 45 minutes
  • kettle or Dutch oven
  • colander
  • 1-2 potatoes (or a bunch of peelings)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 stalks celery and a few of their leaves
  • 1 bunch scallions (both white and green parts) or 1 large leek
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 8-10 cloves crushed garlic
  • handful of parsley
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 2 Q water
Directions Scrub the potatoes and carrots, then roughly chop them along with the onion, celery, and scallions.

Heat the oil in the pot over high heat, add the vegetables, garlic, and herbs and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add salt and water, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30-60 minutes.

Strain, pressing out as much of the liquid as you can from the veggies before discarding them. You can use the stock immediately, or let it cool then store in refrigerator or freezer.

Notes You can add/sub many vegetables, but avoid very strong ones, such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, and mustard greens, unless that’s the flavor you’re after. Ditto for mushrooms: one or two are ok, but any more and you’ll end up with mushroom stock, not veggie stock.

After making stock, I combine it with cooking water I’ve reserved after making things like beans, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables.

Stock freezes well, so make a big batch and then pull it out the next time you make soup. Or make bouillon cubes.

Vegetarian Cooking for EveryoneAdapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (read my review).

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