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Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is easy to make and a flavorful vegan base for soups, gravies, sauces, and more. Best of all, it is quick to put together if you need it in a pinch.

Vegetable stock in a jar on a white marble counter

Stock vs. Broth 

The most notable difference between stock and broth is how much salt is in it.

Stock has little to no salt while broth is well seasoned.

This makes stock very versatile where broth is basically ideal for soups.

What About Store-Bought Stocks and Broths? 

Commercial brands tend to use the terms “stock” and “broth” interchangeably and store-bought stocks and broths are usually more both then stock.

They tend to be lightly flavored and lack the body of a homemade stock and they result in a more less flavorful dish.

The Best Vegetables 

When making a basic vegetable stock, you want vegetables with neutral, but savory flavors. Onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms are the ideal starter vegetables for stock.

Some recipes recommend adding garlic and other strong spices but in my opinion that makes for less versatile stock.

Salt isn’t usually added, or is minimally added, for the same reason.

Using Vegetable Scraps for Stock 

Just like chicken stock can be made with odds and ends collected over time, you can collect vegetables scraps and save them for vegetable stock.

To do this, keep a big resealable bag in our freezer where you can collect bits that would otherwise be thrown away.

Vegetables that can be added to the bag are ones have wilted beyond saving, the green parts from leeks, trimmings from carrots, and such.

Once this bag gets full, you can use it to make broth. 

Why Use Onion Skins

Onion skins add color to the stock but don’t harm the flavor.

Vegetables to Avoid When Making Vegetables Stock 

Not all vegetables are good for for vegetable stock.

Starchy vegetables like potatoes and turnips will make for a starchy cloudy vegetable stock, zucchini and greens beans become bitter when slowly simmered for as long it takes to make this stock, and beets can be overpowering.

Simple Upgrades for Better Vegetable Stock 

A simple way to add more flavor to your broth is to roast the vegetables beforehand. This helps bring out the flavors.

Yield: 2 quarts

Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock in a jar on a white marble counter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, unpeeled, diced
  • 10 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, cut
  • 1 head of garlic, cut
  • 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 quarts cold water

Instructions

  1. Place onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, parsley, tyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, and water in a stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by half, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard solids.

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