Vegetable Stock

Homemade vegetable stock is very economical and a creative way to use up vegetable peelings, leftover vegetables or the parts that are full of nutrition yet not generally served, such as mushroom stems, celery tops, and broccoli and cauliflower stalks.

Vegetable Stock


  • 1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter
  • 5 onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 6–8 dried mushrooms, such as porcini
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • pinch of mace or nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 fresh red chilli, halved and seeded (optional); wear gloves when handling – they burn


  1. In a stockpot or very large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks and garlic and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until the onions are golden. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, parsley, thyme, salt, allspice, mace or nutmeg and 16 cups (4 litres) cold water.
  2. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, using a slotted spoon to skim off any fat or scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat, partly cover the pot, then simmer gently for 2 hours, adding more water as needed to maintain the level at about 12 cups (3 litres). Add the vinegar and chilli, if using, then simmer for 30 minutes longer.
  3. Line a fine sieve with muslin (cheesecloth) and set it over a large bowl. Slowly pour the stock through the sieve, gently pressing with a wooden spoon to squeeze all the liquid from the solids; discard the solids and the chilli. If desired, clarify the stock. If a thicker stock is desired, do not discard the solids after straining; purée about 1/2 cup of the cooked vegetables and stir the purée back into the stock. Let the stock cool to room temperature. Pour the stock into serving-sized, airtight containers; cover, label and date. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Makes about 12 cups (3 litres)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes

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