- 4 quarts cold water
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into large dice
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 2 medium onions, cut into quarters
- 2 leeks, white and green parts, trimmed, sliced, and washed
- ½ pound mushrooms or mushroom stems, chopped coarse
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, quartered, or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 black peppercorns
Put all ingredients except the salt in a large (about 8-quart) stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Adjust the heat to a strong simmer and cook, partially covered, 1 hour. Skim the foam that rises to the surface once or twice as the stock cooks.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve and cool to room temperature. The stock can be refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months.
Nutritional information is based on 16 servings, and includes 1 teaspoon of added salt.