Vegetable Stock

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. From Splendid Soups by James Peterson

  • 2 unpeeled carrots, sliced
  • 2 leeks, both white & green parts, washed and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb stalks (or the bulb itself), sliced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1 bunch parsley or the stems from 2 bunches
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 C mushroom stems
  • 1 T black peppercorns
  • 1 C dry white wine* (see note below)

Combine all the ingredients except the peppercorns and wine in a 4-quart pot. Pour just enough water to cover and heat on high heat until the liquid comes to a boil.

Makes about 2 quarts

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.

*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.

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.

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!!