Ingredients: How to Make a Great Vegetable Stock


I love my vegetable stocks. I hope that you enjoy them too.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Soups recipes here and here.

Vegetable Stock

Vegetable Stock

I usually make vegetable stock on the fly with any leftover peelings, scrapings and chunks of vegetables as I cook other dishes. Add a few herbs (Italian or Asian), a dried mushroom or two and whatever else is laying around (left over dried chillies, a shallot or two that should be used up, slices of ginger, galangal, turmeric or other root laying around, some lemon peel or lemon slices,…), simmer together for 30 minutes or so, strain and freeze. For those who prefer an algorithm for veggie stock, here is Bill’s.

2 Tblspn olive oil 500g onions, chopped 500g carrots, chopped
250 g parsnips, chopped 2 celery sticks, chopped (include leaves) 6 cloves garlic
2 leeks, white part only, sliced 4 spring onions, chopped 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
1 tspn black peppercorns 4 bay leaves 1 Tblspn salt

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, parsnip, celery and garlic and stirfry for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and 2 litres of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Allow to cool, then strain. Freezes well.


Light Vegetable Stock

This is the type of stock that is first of all gorgeous enough to use as a soup in its own right. In Summer, pour it into a tall glass and sip.

This makes 2 – 3 litres. Scale up if necessary.

3 medium-ripe tomatoes (not over ripe)
2 medium onions, peeled
1 leeks
2 sticks celery
3 carrots, peeled
1 head garlic, unpeeled
0.5 fennel bulb
1 green chilli
0.5 tspn coriander seeds
1 white peppercorn (use black if you don’t have white)
1 clove
1 star anise
1 bay leaves
1 very small bunch thyme
1 very small bunch parsley
1 tspns sea salt
0.25 bottles Gewurztraminer (aka Traminer) – see below for substitutes

Chop all of the vegetables into small to medium dice and simmer in enough water to just cover with the spices, herbs and salt. Simmer for 15 mins. Strain, add the wine and allow to cool.

recipe notes and alternatives
The wine is a great addition to this stock, but we do not often have it. As substitutes we might use a good dash of dry white wine, or a slurp each of mirin and verjuice. Coconut vinegar (just a little) is another worthy substitute. Or simply add lemon or lime juice after cooking. For these substitutes, add a little, taste and adjust as necessary. You are after a balanced stock, not a sour one.

For Winter, I add 2 brown cardamom pods, 2 or 3 all spice berries and 4 or 5 juniper berries. They provide grounding, earthy flavours.


From the Soups Series





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