Do you like the convenience of store bought vegetable stocks, but hate the amount of salt in them?
Well then trust me here when I tell you how easy it is to make your own. Truthfully, these veggies were washed, but I didn’t bother to peel anything. I even left the outer papery peels of the onions on! A few chops of this and that, and everyone into the pool! I have a favorite and secret ingredient. You don’t see it in the photo above, because I add it about halfway through the cooking. It just enhances this broth in a way I can’t explain. But I miss it when it’s not there. Can you guess what it might be?
This vegetable stock is both fragrant and flavorful with a rich color.
There is really nothing better, fresher, or more flavorful than the vegetable stock you make at home. You can really taste every vegetable that you put into it. And that’s the thing. It’s easy to change the flavor of this broth, by what you add to it.
I know everyone has their own way of making stock. And it also may vary according to what scraps you may have leftover. But this is my standard stock. When I use the stock to make soups, etc, then that’s when I begin to play with the flavor. Depending on the recipe I’m using it for, you may find me adding tomatoes, paprika, ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice, saffron, miso paste, coriander, or chiles, to name a few.
Carrots, onions, celery, garlic and bay leaves are pretty standard. But I always add mushrooms for a little umami. And I always add fennel & thyme to keep it bright. And halfway through, my secret weapon.
Yes! Cloves! This is hands down my favorite spice. And while I love to bake with it, I find myself thinking about how I can sneak it in to my cooking as well. The flavor of the cloves is subtle but it really enhances the flavor of all the other veggies in this amazing broth.
I love the color and richness of this broth. If you want a more clear stock, I’d omit the mushrooms.
This recipe makes about 2 quarts of vegetable stock and it freezes well!
- 6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 stalks of celery cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 fennel bulbs, cut in quarters
- 2 medium onions, cut into large pieces
- 8 ounces of sliced or roughly chopped mushrooms
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half
- 3 bay leaves
- several sprigs of fresh thyme
- about a dozen peppercorns ( I used red, green and white)
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2½ quarts of cold water
- Wash and chop all vegetables.
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot.
- Add the vegetables and saute for about 8-10 minutes until some of the veggies turn golden and the vegetables are beginning to soften.
- Add the water, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns.
- Cover and simmer for about an hour.
- Stir and add the cloves.
- Cover and simmer for another hour.
- Strain the broth through a mesh sieve.
- Allow to cool before storing or freezing.
- NOTE: While you will find that many recipes tell you to discard the solids, I blend mine in my vitamixer. I'll often add tomatoes or other veggies to it and use it as a pasta sauce!