Vegetable Stock

1 03 2010
In order to make the risotto we did in class or any great vegetable soup or stew, you need to begin with a good vegetable stock. I think  homemade stock is far superior to any stock you buy in the store. Making stock is a great way to use up vegetables in your refrigerator that may go bad. What’s even better is that you can customize it to your recipe. So if you are making a Mushroom risotto, add more mushrooms to the stock, or if you are making a soup that would go nicely with fennel, add fennel to the stock. The options are endless. This is only an example of a stock. Of course some of the ingredients are optional, but you will need to add at least carrots, onion, celery, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and salt if nothing else. If you want a slightly thicker stock, then add potatoes. Don’t use too many cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli or kale because their flavor is too strong.
Remember, when making a stock, begin with cold water then add all the vegetables and bring it to a boil. By starting with cold water, you will extract all the flavor from the vegetables into the stock. This is different from just boiling up some carrots to eat where you want the flavor to remain in the carrot.

8 quarts cold water

2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic

4 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 lb button mushrooms (or the stems if you are using mushrooms in another recipe)

2 bay leaves

6 allspice berries (optional)

4 parsley sprigs

1 2-inch piece konbu (optional)

6 sprigs fresh thyme

3 fresh rosemary sprigs

6 peppercorns

Any other vegetables you may have on hand like potatoes, fennel, leeks, wild mushrooms etc…

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer about 1 hour. Strain.

This can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for 3 months.


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