Friday, July 11, 2014

Homemade Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is another thing my Meema taught me to make. Like chicken stock I make this in large batches to freeze for whenever I need it. Vegetable broth is delicious and nutritious. The fennel and parsnip lend to a natural sweetness and and additional depth of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large leeks
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 13 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled, cut lengthwise in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped {I add the stems and fronds too}
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 10 sprigs parsley
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspooon whole black peppercorns
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut off the roots from the leeks. Rinse under cold running water and thinly slice.
  2. In a 6-quart saucepot, combine leeks, garlic, 1 cup water, and a pinch of salt; heat to boiling. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook until the leeks are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add potato, fennel, parsnips, carrots, celery, mushrooms, parsley and thyme sprigs, bay leaves, peppercorns, and remaining 12 cups of water.
  5. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, at least 1 hour 30 minutes.
  6. Taste and continue cooking if flavor is not concentrated enough. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into containers, pressing on solids with back of a wooden spoon to extract liquid; cool. 
  8.  Cover and refrigerate to use within 3 days, or freeze up to 4 months.

ACTIVE TIME: 25 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 25 MINUTES
MAKES: ABOUT 6 CUPS