Making your own vegetable stock may not feel particularly glamorous or exciting, but rest assured that nobody does it just once. With a little time and care, the depth of flavour you can achieve is quite remarkable, and this most humble of recipes can enhance your stews, soups, and casseroles immeasurably.
I often use this vegetable stock recipe as a base for my tomato soup.
- 1 large onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 leek
- 1 bulb garlic
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200 g mushrooms
- 150 ml white wine (optional)
- 3 litres cold water
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 bunch parsley (stalks are fine)
- Roughly chop the onion, carrot, celery, and leek. Cut the garlic bulb in half through the equator.
- Heat up the butter and oil together in a large stock pot, then add the prepared vegetables.
- Allow the vegetables to soften while you roughly slice the mushrooms.
- Add the mushrooms and continue stirring occasionally until everything has softened and coloured.
- If you want to use wine, add this now, and allow it to reduce by half to boil off the alcohol.
- Add 3 litres of cold water to the pan, and then bring it up to a boil.
- If scum has appeared on the surface, skim it off with a spoon and discard.
- Turn the stock down to a simmer, and add the peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and parsley.
- (I often cut all the leaves off the parsley, and throw in just the bundle of stalks – you will get the same flavour.)
- Place on the lid of the stockpot, and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the stock is a rich brown colour.
- Strain the stock through a fine sieve, or ideally a muslin cloth, and discard the vegetables.
- If you wanted to season your stock, you should do it now. I generally do not season it.
- Allow the stock to cool, and then store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or the freezer for up to 6 months.