Basic Vegetable Stock

From Splendid Soups by James Peterson

Vegetable broth is a light and delicate alternative to meat broth. It is also a good way to use leek greens, mushroom stems, the juices squeeze out of seeded tomatoes, fennel stalks, parsnip greens, even turnip trimmings. This recipe includes a good balance of vegetables, but don’t feel like you have to follow it exactly — you’re probably not going to have all the vegetables it calls for anyway. I just use what I have around (time to clean out your crisper!).

*If you like to add wine to your broth (which is a good idea for acidity and flavor) don’t add the wine until the vegetables have cooked for at least 20 minutes. If the wine is added too soon, the vegetables won’t soften and release their flavor into the surrounding liquid.

  • 2 Unpeeled carrots, sliced
  • 2 Leeks, both white & green parts, washed & sliced
  • Stalks from a fennel bulb or the bulb itself, sliced
  • 2 Turnips, peeled & sliced (note: he is using large storage turnips which are larger & have a stronger flavor)
  • 1 Large onion, sliced (note: no need to peel)
  • 3 Garlic cloves, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 bu Parsley or stems from 2 bunches
  • 4 Fresh thyme sprigs, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 C Mushrooms stems
  • 1 T Black peppercorns
  • 1 C Dry white wine *see note above

Combine all the ingredients except the peppercorns and wine is a 4-quart pot. Pour just enough water to cover and heat on high heat until the liquid comes to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pot, and keep the broth at a slow simmer (bubbles bubbling up now and then). When the vegetables have simmered for 30 minutes, add the peppercorns and white wine and simmer for 10 minutes more. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer into a clean pot or heat-resistant container. Let it cool uncovered, for an hour before putting it into the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 quarts

Oxbow note: I like to make large pots of stock/broth and store it in the freezer for later use. Because I have limited space I reduce the stock/broth by at least half by boiling it down AFTER it’s strained. Once reduced let it cool and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Transfer the cubes to a freezer bag for storage.

Concentrated stock cubes are great for adding flavor to sautéed greens, pasta sauces or making a quick pan sauce!