A good vegetable stock is such a godsend to have in your fridge - or even better, your freezer! It can be the base of so many amazing vegetarian (or not) dishes and it's so easy to prepare. Here we share a few tips and tricks for a great veggie stock - plus, of course, our fool-proof recipe.
Tips for your veggie stock
Any vegetables that are too wilted to cook are great for throwing into your stock - just avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes or sweet potatoes or your stock will be cloudy. And stay away from zucchini and green beans - they become bitter when simmered too long.
Save your vegetables scraps in a bag in the freezer ready to turn into a stock when it suits you. No more waste!
For a lighter coloured stock (like for risotto or a cream sauce, for example), peel your onions first.
For extra flavour, roast the vegetables in a 200C oven with olive oil and sea salt for 30 minutes, until softened and browned, before transferring to a pan, adding the water and simmering as above.
Throw in the rinds of Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoon tomato paste or 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast for even more flavour.
Divide the stock into smaller portions (500ml or 1l) and freeze! If there’s not much room in your freezer, you can simmer it right down and pour it into an ice cube tray to freeze as handy cubes. Your future self will thank you.
5 Ways To Use Your Vegetable Stock
1. For a quick cleansing lunch for two, add 2 tablespoons of miso and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to 750ml of your veggie stock. Then add cubes of tofu, sliced ginger, and Chinese cabbage (or any chopped leafy greens). Drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil to finish. Throw in chopped chilli if you like it spicy!
2. Use it to make a really flavoursome risotto.
3. Add to soups, sauces and casseroles for extra flavour.
4. Cook quinoa in it.
5. Use it to prepare instant cous cous.
Our Vegetable Stock Recipe
There's just nothing better than a good homemade veggie stock - the packaged stuff just doesn't compare! Here's how we like it.
Makes 2 litres
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, unpeeled, cut into 2cm pieces
5 celery stalks (including the leaves) cut into 2cm pieces
3 large carrots, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
200g button mushrooms
1 small fennel bulb, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 head of garlic, halved
1 teaspoon of sea salt
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 litres water
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook gently for 7–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to soften.
Add 4 litres of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1–1 1/2 hours until the stock has reduced by half.
Strain the stock through a sieve into a bowl or another pan. (be careful you don’t pour it down the sink! We may or may not have done this before... Don't judge.)