If you’re looking for an easy weekend day project try making this basic vegetable stock. You can use veggies leftover from making other dishes, and it freezes well for later use. We make two kinds of veggie stock: clear and puréed. We use the clear veg stock in clear soups, but when we make soups that are more rustic, creamy, and thick, then we use the puréed stock to add body to the soup without having to add flour or other thickeners.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 quarts (or 6 if you include the pureed veggies)
- 4 quarts of water
- 4 cups of leeks or spring onions large dice (3 leeks (white and green parts) or 6 spring onions)
- Regarding the green leaves of spring onions, we recommend that you include them in making the stock but remove them if you choose to puree the veggies as leaving them in will make the stock very green and quite vegetal in flavor, but it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.
- 2 cups of celery large dice with leaves (4 celery stalks)
- 2 cups of carrots peeled large dice (4 carrots)
- Bouquet garni (sachet)
- 12 sprigs of fresh parsley with leaves
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 medium to large bay leaves
- 12 black peppercorns
- 6 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1 8 inch x 8 inch square of cheesecloth
- 12 inch kitchen twine
- Wash the leeks really well as they will most likely be sandy, especially in the crevices around the leaves, cut away and discard any discolored leaves.
- Cut off the root end, cut the white leek stem away from the green leaves, slice the white leek stem in half length-wise, separate the various layers under running water as dirt/sand will often be found in between the layers; drain; add to a large stock or soup pot.
- Separate the green leaves from each other under running water, remove any dirt/sand, drain, cut into 2 inch sections; add to the stock pot.
- Wash the celery stalks, remove any discolored leaves or parts of the stalk, drain; cut into 2 inch sections; add to the stock pot.
- Wash the carrots, peel, cut into large dice.
- Please refer to the photo above…You will notice that the diced carrots are shown in two types of cuts.
- The center of a carrot contains most of the sugar so slice the carrot into rounds will limit the amount of sugar that ends up in the stock, while quartering the carrot lengthwise then dicing will expose more of the center thus making the stock a little sweeter.
- Some recipes do not say to peel the carrots but we choose to do so because more often than not we purée the cooked veggies in the stock to make a thicker stock.
- Bouquet garni (sachet)
- Wash the parsley and thyme, drain, cut into 4 inch segments, place in the center of the cheese cloth.
- Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and garlic if desired.
- Collect the corners of the cheesecloth together ensuring that there are not any open sections, tie a knot or two using one end of the twine.
- Place the sachet on top of the veggies in the stock pot, drape the free end of the twine over the top of the pot (this will make it easier to remove the sachet after cooking).
- Add the water to the stock or soup pot with the veggies, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bouquet garni sachet, discard.
- Strain the veggies for a clear stock or…
- Remove the veggies from the stock pot and place in a high-speed blender, add some of the stock liquid, process at high speed until creamy.
- Safety tip! The cooked veggies and the liquid from the stock will be hot so make sure you hold the lid of the blender down as the air in any blender with hot items especially liquid will expand rapidly.
- Blend at high speed until creamy then pour the contents into a clean pot, repeat until all the veggies have been pureed.
- Cool the stock to room temperature as quickly as possible, such as an ice bath.
- When the stock is sufficiently cooled pour into storage containers with lids.
- If you choose to freeze some of the stock do not fill the containers to the top but leave at least one inch empty space above the level of the stock in the container. This will ensure that the stock doesn’t expand above the top of the container, pushing the lid off.