- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
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Can be made ahead of time.
We like vegetable stock because its flavor is subtle and doesn’t overpower the flavors of the actual soup. At the store, we pile up vegetable trimmings to throw into stock—carrot peels, celery leaves and bottoms, the ends of onions and leeks. We stay away from cabbage or eggplant or asparagus, anything with a really strong, overwhelming flavor.
Sauté the vegetables in the butter and olive oil in a big soup pot over high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pot and burning. When the vegetables begin to soften and reduce in volume, 5–10 minutes, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the onions are tender and translucent, about 10 more minutes.
Return the heat to high. Add the water, parsley, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer until the water no longer tastes like water—but tastes like broth—at least 2 hours. Pour the stock through a colander, being careful not to let it splash, since it will be very hot. You can use the stock right away, or cool it to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator or the freezer.
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings.
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