Buffer

Vegetable Stock – Recipe Tips and Tricks

Elvis Elvis

A good vegetable stock recipe is the base for many vegan dishes. Perhaps the most obvious use is in vegan soups. However a stock’s usefulness does not end here. A vegetable stock recipe can be used in place of water for a variety of vegan dishes. Try cooking rice or other grains in a flavourful vegetable stock. I promise you will notice a big difference!

This section covers vegetable stocks, their importance and uses, and includes a basic vegetable stock recipe, as well as a more specialized vegetable stock recipe.

Every great vegan soup starts with a great vegetable stock…

Before we discuss anything else about vegan soup, we need to address the importance of vegetable stocks.

Why don’t we just use water to make our soups? One word… flavor. My cooking teacher use to say. “flavor in, flavor out.” A Stock is quite simply an opportunity to add flavor to our soup. Besides, stocks are easy peasy, nothing to ‘em!

Really there are no rules to making stock, just a few guidelines, nobody likes rules anyway right?

Guidelines for making great vegetable stock

If you follow these guidelines you will be making great stocks in no time:

  • Roughly chop vegetables (fairly large pieces)
  • Start with cold water. (this makes the stock nice and clear.
  • Don’t use old soggy vegetables, Its fine if they are past their prime, but they shouldn’t be completely limp. Use your judgment.
  • Use Vegetable trimmings from the previous few days. This is a great way to get your money’s worth from the veggies you buy. Carrot or potato peels, tomato trimmings, and mushroom stems all work well, avoid onion skins though.
  • Avoid using certain vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, rutabagas, beets, or asparagus. These tend to impart a strong sometimes bitter flavour in our stocks.
  • To get the most flavour possible, simmer your stock for 45 – 65 minutes on very low heat.
  • Don’t add salt directly into your stocks. Instead add the salt at the end of whatever dish you are using the stock in. If you oversalt your vegetable stock, everything you make with it will be salty. It is much easier to “season to taste” at the very end of making your soup.

Vegetables that work well in vegetable stocks…

  • Carrot Celery Onion (together have a special
    name called mire poix [meer-pwa] in french cooking.
  • mushrooms, or mushroom stems
  • leeks – split and washed. Give a beautiful soft onion flavour.
  • Potato, gives body to the stock from the natural starch content.

Vegetable Stock   Recipe Tips and Tricks

For those who wish to have a recipe to follow here is a basic versatile vegetable stock recipe that can be used to make any of the vegan soup recipes on this site.

BASIC VEGETABLE STOCK RECIPE

  • 3 Carrots (washed but not peeled)
  • 3 Celery Stalks (leaves are fine to stay on)
  • 2 large white onions (peels removed)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 potato
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • ½ tsp dried thyme or 2 fresh sprigs thyme

each of the vegetables into 6-8 pieces. Place into large pot and fill with enough water to cover vegetables by 3 or 4 inches. Turn heat to high. As soon as stock comes to a boil add remaining ingredients and turn to low heat until barely simmering. Continue to simmer 45 – 65 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve. Refridgerate. Stock should be used within 3 or 4 days. Stocks freeze well for up to 4 months, and are great to have on hand.

SPECIALTY VEGETABLE STOCK RECIPE

  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Large White Onions (peels removed)
  • 3 Celery Sticks (leaves can stay on)
  • ½ fennel bulb or 3 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ lemon (peel can stay)
  • ¼ Tomato
  • 1 leek
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano

Roughly chop vegetables into 6-8 pieces each. Place into large pot and fill with cold water 3 or 4 inches above the level of the vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and immediately reduce to a very slow simmer. Continue to simmer covered for 45 – 65 minutes. Strain through a sieve or cheesecloth. Refridgerate 3-4 days, or freeze up to 4 months.

MUSHROOM VEGETABLE STOCK RECIPE 

  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 stalks celery (with leaves)
  • ½ leek (split and washed)
  • 3 cups mushroom stems
  • ¼ Tomato
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme

Saute the mushroom stems in 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat  in a large pot for 5 minutes.  Roughly chop vegetables into 6-8 pieces each. Place into pot and fill with cold water 3 or 4 inches above the level of the vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and immediately reduce to a very slow simmer. Continue to simmer covered for 45 – 65 minutes. Strain through a sieve or cheesecloth. Refridgerate 3-4 days, or freeze up to 4 months.

Chef’s Tip:  After you make your stock, you can reduce it before you freeze it.  This means to simmer the stock until half or more the liquid has evaporated.  It will take up less room in the freezer. When you go to use it you just add water to return it back to it’s original volume.