Monday, May 11, 2009

Vegetable Stock

If you have never made your own vegetable stock you won’t believe how easy and economical it is. I haven’t bought stock in years. Every time I cook I put the vegetable trimmings from carrots, celery, onions, leeks, shallots and parsley stems into a gallon Ziploc freezer bag and stash the bag in the freezer. When the bag is full I make a pot of vegetable stock. There is couple of ways to make the base vegetable stock. You can start with uncooked vegetables as I do below, or you can roast your vegetable trim before you simmer it. The roasted vegetable stock has a bigger flavor that I like to use when the weather is cool. In the summer I tend to make the lighter unroasted version of the stock.

If you want roasted vegetable stock put the vegetable trim in a long flat pan and give it a little drizzle of olive oil. Roast the veg in a 400 degree over until it has browned a little (about 30 minutes). Move the roasted veg to a stockpot. Use the water to clean the brown bits from the roasting pan and add that water to the stockpot and proceed with the directions below.

Vegetable Stock
makes about 2 1/2 quarts


1 gallon of vegetable trim from onions, carrots, celery and parsley stems
6 quarts of cold filtered water
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of thyme
12 black peppercorns


Bring vegetable trim and water to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for thirty minutes to get the flavor from the vegetables into the water. Be careful not to cook it too long or the stock can become bitter. Drain the veg from the stock through a sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth or a couple layers of paper towels. The liquid will have reduced to about 5 quarts now. Return the liquid to a clean pot (noting the level) and add the tomato paste, garlic, bay, thyme and peppercorns to the pot and simmer for an hour. You want to simmer the liquid until it has reduced by half. Drain the stock through a sieve lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth or paper towels. The stock is now ready to become other varieties of vegetable based sauces. I keep this in the freezer in 1 cup containers until I need it.


Before you strain the stock the last time it will taste a little bitter from the sediment and herbs. I sometimes strain my stock twice at the end if the first straining pulls out a lot of impurities. I use this vegetable base for almost everything that I do in the kitchen. The only exception is for sauces that need to be light colored, since this base is so dark. For light color sauces I will make this same stock without the tomato paste. I will be posting more sauce variations using this base over the coming months.


  1. i HATE throwing away all the "trim". my animals will only eat so much carrot shavings and stems before they realize they are being treated like a garbage disposal

  2. dirtyduck,

    My husband likes to remark that I "cook with things most people throw away". I guess this is technically true, but as odd as it seems it is how stock is made in restaurants.


  3. well it looks really good.thank you for thr recipe. it seems like stock at the grocery store is not only hard to find but full of msg and salt. i can make salty water at home,lol. i cant wait till we move our new kitchen is the glory of the new place, i am looking forward to having my "own" kitchen where i can make a big of a mess as i want! which im good at! oh i made a comment about how i give all that to my animals> well at my moms house i was doing cucumber and quite without thinking im wiping all the trim onto the ground for all the animals that are usually at my feet. i had a red face and a huge mess to clean up, not to mention i had to explain why i had been throwing trash on the ground.

  4. dirty duck,

    The story of the cucumber on the floor is hysterical. I can imagine the look on her face now. Priceless!

    Besides Lilly who is normally in the kitchen with you?


  5. it sounds like your husband has a really good sense of humor. i bet he is really cute with the cats. well more unrelated stuff, i am going to buy some choc brown rice protein powder. i am going to try to make my own protein cookie/bars. any tips would be good. i will try using whole wheat flower and apple sauce maybe, but raisins, banana, and coconut are off limits!

  6. dirtyduck,

    I used to make a peanut butter and brown rice syrup granola bar that I modified from the Vegetarian Times magazine from a few years ago. You could add protein powder to that. Let me know if you want me to find the recipe and email it to you.

    If I were trying to make protein bars I would start with either a granola bar or larabar recipe and add the protein powder.



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