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Vegetable Stock

Updated February 23, 2016

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.

About6 cups

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

Dietary Considerationvegetarian

Taste and Texturelight, savory

Type of Dishstock

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 big yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, root end and dark-green tops removed, sliced ¼ inch thin, and washed
  • 1 big potato (any kind), peeled and chopped
  • 2 or 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashes and peeled
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) cold water
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, washed and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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Nice-looking recipe, and I like the idea of saving trimmings - you can accumulate them in a plastic bag in the freezer. One thing I often don't like in a veggie stock is subtlety - I know a lot of people love veggie stock for this very reason, but I want something that tastes a little more strongly than flavoured water; however, I agree that using vegetables like cabbage just leaves a nasty taste. My solution when I want a stronger stock, especially one I can use in place of chicken or beef stock, is to add Marmite. Marmite is a brown, sludgy-looking yeast extract that comes in little brown jars. British people love to spread it thinly on toast. It's very high in B vitamins. It's definitely an acquired taste on its own, but add a dollop to soup stock, and it gives it a lovely deep flavour. If you look at the ingredients on most commercial beef stocks, you'll find they use some sort of yeast extract. Marmite is salty, so if you use it, don't use salt. Vegemite, the Australian equivalent of Marmite, can also be used. Both products are 100% vegetarian/vegan.

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