Nothing compares to homemade vegetable stock or broth. The flavor is much more pronounced, you can add whatever you want to it to enhance different flavors, and it’s honestly just boiling vegetables. Easy, delicious, and makes your house smell wonderful? Sign me up…
Something to know about making your own vegetable broth or stock is that the base is always onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Those ingredients are non-negotiable. Add chicken to this and you would have a chicken stock, but since we don’t do that around these parts, we will stick with the vegetables. From there, I add bay leaves, a bunch of parsley because I love the flavor, black peppercorns, and salt. Then I top it with water, bring it to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover it and let it cook for about 40 minutes. Go easy on the salt in the beginning because as it reduces, the salt will get more pronounced because the water is evaporating.
You all have probably been told to save your ends of your vegetable trimmings to make a stock out of. It’s not a bad thought, I just don’t do it. I want to maximize the flavor of my broth so I use whole vegetables. Another thing I do differently is I add the water last. I throw everything into a dry pot and crank the heat up so that the onions, carrots, and celery, caramelize on the bottom on the pot. I like to do this to get some of the flavor out of the vegetables first. Then, when I add the water, it deglazes the bottom of the pan and gets those delicious darkened bits of vegetables off the bottom. This method also contributes to a darker color. If you wish not to do that, boil your water first, and then throw in all the vegetables.
Other options to add to the pot are dried mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, or other herbs like thyme or rosemary. What you don’t want to add are more bitter vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, things like that.
Taste the liquid often while doing this. If you feel it has enough flavor, turn the heat off and let it sit, if it’s missing something, try adding some more salt. Enough salt is key to make this come together. Once the flavor is to your liking, put a strainer over a large pot and strain the vegetables while catching the liquid. Store in a container in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze until use.
Use this as a base for your soups, sauces, marinades, whatever you wish. I tend to save it for more special occasions because it just cannot compare to store bought. Let me know what you guys think. I hope you love it!
If you make this recipe please be sure to tag me and leave a comment @plantiful_grub on Instagram and Facebook.