If you’re no stranger to preparing soups, sauces, and casseroles at home, then you understand the importance of good, all-purpose vegetable stock. Though relatively inexpensive at the grocery store, vegetable stock or broth is surprisingly easy to make at home – and, once you try this recipe for All-Purpose Vegetable Stock, you may find yourself wondering why you ever bought the canned version!
• 1 to 2 onions
• 2 to 3 carrots
• 3 to 4 celery stalks
• 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 small bunch fresh parsley
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• Optional extras: leeks, fennel, tomatoes, mushrooms, mushroom stems, parsnips
• Cheesecloth or coffee filters (for straining)
• Storage containers
1. Gather some vegetables and herbs. Onions, carrots, and celery give the stock a great base flavor, and you can round these out with any of the other vegetables listed above.
2. Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables and give them a rough chop. You don't even need to peel them first unless you really want to. Throw all the vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them plus a few extra inches of water.
3. Cover the vegetables with enough water that you can easily stir them in the pot. Less water means that your stock will be more concentrated; more water makes a lighter-flavored stock.
4. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot, turn the heat down to medium-low.
5. Simmer for about 1 hour. Give it a stir every now and again to circulate the vegetables.
6. Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set a colander or strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheesecloth or coffee filters. Pour the stock through. If not using immediately, divide the stock into storage containers, cool, then freeze.
Shake up your household menu – and put your fully equipped kitchen to use – with this easy-to-follow recipe, courtesy of Savannah West Apartments in Kansas City, Missouri.