Stock is such an important ingredient and vegetable stock is by far the most versatile. And so easy to make. There is really no reason to buy inferior ready made versions.
Making your own beef stock is fun, and worth the effort if you have the time. But it does take a lot of time, often more than many of us have available. No such excuses with vegetable stock though. Preparation is much easier, and cooking time much shorter. And the result, almost certainly far superior to what you can buy at the store.
Feel free to swap in/out other vegetables. Parsnips are great. Pumpkin would work. Add a couple of corn cobs. It is a great way to clean out the vegetable bin in the refrigerator.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 20 g butter
- 2 onions
- 8 cloves garlic
- 4 stalks celery
- 4 leeks
- 4 carrots
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 4 peppers 2 red, 2 green
- 200 g mushrooms
- 4 large tomatoes
- 15 cups water
- 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs parsley stalks included
- In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the butter.
- Remove any loose skin from the onions and garlic and wash.
- Remove the ends from the onion, then coarsely chop, skins included. Add to the saucepan.
- Smash the garlic with the back of a knife, then add to the saucepan, skins included. Give it a stir.
- Wash the celery stalks, coarsely dice, and add to the saucepan. Give it a stir.
- Wash and trim the leeks, coarsely dice, and add to the saucepan. Give it a stir.
- Wash and trim the fennel bulbs, coarsely dice, and add to the saucepan. Give it a stir.
- Wash and peel the carrots, coarsely dice, and add to the saucepan. Give it a stir.
- Trim the peppers, remove the pith, coarsely chop, and add to the saucepan. Give it a stir.
- Wash the mushrooms, coarsely dice, and add to the saucepan. Give it a stir.
- Continue to stir until the onion, celery and leeks are soft and are starting to brown.
- Add the water to the saucepan, together with the peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley.
- Wash and coarsely chop the tomatoes and add to the saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very slow simmer.
- Simmer for 90 minutes then allow to cool.
- Strain the stock, and when cool enough, keep what you need for the dish you are making today, and freeze the rest in 1 cup quantities.