Vegetable Stock

Vegetable Stock

Details

Vegetable stock is a healthy and delicious and be used as the base for many dishes, such as cooking whole grains or making a variety of soups.
  • Serves: Approx. 3 L
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs
  • Views: 36,745
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 1 small celery root
• 1 small kabocha squash
• 3 carrots
• 3 leeks
• 3 large onions
• 1 to 2 heads garlic (optional)

Method

To prepare your mise en place, peel the celery root, kabocha squash, carrots and onions. Cut everything into approximately 1" -inch cubes.

Clean the leeks and slice into 1" -inch pieces. Cut the heads of garlic in half horizontally.

Step 2: Roasting the Vegetables (optional)

• 1/4 cup grapeseed (or olive) oil

Method

To roast the vegetables, preheat your oven to 400º degrees Fahrenheit (205º C). Line a large baking tray with parchment or aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, toss the celery root, kabocha squash, carrots and onions together with the oil and coat. Rub each half of garlic with oil and lay everything onto the baking sheet.

Roast the vegetables until they are nice and caramelized, tossing half way through to brown all sides. To prevent the garlic from developing bitter flavors, remove it from the tray once golden and just roasted.

During the last 10 to 15 minutes or so of roasting, add the leeks, being careful not to burn them.

Step 3: Adding Optional Ingredients

• 1 oz dried mushrooms (optional)
• 2 1/2 lb tomatoes
• 12 oz corn on the cob (or corn kernels)

Method

You can build more flavor and body into the vegetable stock by adding a variety of ingredients (see notes below).

Core the tomatoes and roughly chop. Slice the corn on the cob into 1" -inch slices or measure out the corn.

Measure out the mushrooms and set aside.

Step 4: Starting the Stock

• 2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
• 2 tbsp grapeseed oil

Method

Once the vegetables are roasted, heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.

Once hot, add the oil, followed by the vegetables. Add the tomato paste, if using, and cook for a few minutes to bring out the flavor.

Add the mushrooms, corn and chopped tomatoes. Add cold water just to cover (plus about 2" -inches) and slowly bring to a gentle simmer.

Step 5: Adding the Bouquet Garni

• small bunch parsley
• 10 to 15 sprigs thyme
• 1/4 cup celery leaves
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 to 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
• sea salt (optional)

Method

While the stock is coming to a simmer, gather the bouquet garni.

Add the bouquet garni to the stock, along with a bit of salt, if desired (about 1/4 tsp per liter/quart of water). Let the stock simmer gently for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Step 6: Finishing the Stock

Method

Once the stock has simmered, strain, cool and defat, if necessary.

Use the stock in a variety of recipes or freeze it and store it for future use.

Chef's Notes

Vegetable stock or broth can be made with nearly any combination of vegetables. Just keep in mind that strong-flavored vegetables, such as cabbage, eggplant, turnips or peppers can dominate the flavor, so these should typically be omitted.

Ingredients such as corn, or even corn cobs, add a buttery mouth-feel to the stock (basically what gelatin offers to meat stocks). Celery root and parsnips offer some bite; tomatoes and dried mushrooms (i.e., chanterelle, porcini, or shiitake) can offer great depth of flavor.

A wide variety of herbs and spices, such as tarragon or fennel seeds, can add more complex notes. Even experimenting with items such as sea weeds, dulse, or certain legumes such as chick peas and lentils can give surprisingly satisfying results.

Vegetables stocks, due to the lack of animal protein and fat, tend to last a bit longer in the refrigerator. An excellent vegetable stock can easily substitute chicken stock in almost all dishes, so don’t think of them as second rate at all.

36 Comments

  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    i particularly appreciate this information here: "Ingredients such as corn, or even corn cobs, add a buttery mouth-feel to the stock (basically what gelatin offers to meat stocks). Celery root and parsnips offer some bite; tomatoes and dried mushrooms (i.e., chanterelle, porcini, or shiitake) can offer that missing “meaty” depth." who would have thought that tomato adds "meatiness". and it's nice to know what not to include. i might be jumping ahead of myself here as you might be covering this in later lessons but just curious as to when or why you would add wine to stock. i've seen various stock recipes with wine/vermouth added and just wanted to know if it's worth experimenting with. it was mentioned on a wine thread (http://rouxbe.com/community/forums/8/topics/607) where Joe state that wine adds flavor and acidity, and mostly acidity. would that be the case here, too? don't recall that being mentioned on the lessons on stock, but i could be wrong. there's so much to learn. thank you
  • Tony M Rouxbe Staff
    Tony M
    Wine will add acidity and depth, but it can also detract from a vegetable stock with delicate flavors. If your stock has mushrooms and earthy vegetables like tomatoes and parsnips, then wine will work quite well, especially white. If making a BROWN vegetable stock, deglazing roasted or caramelized mirepoix with wine, whether white or red, would work very well too. Remember, try to use the palate in your mind and ask yourself: How much intensity do I want here? The possibility with herbs and spices for your bouquet garni are endless, but always keep the flavors definable rather than complicated.
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    thanks, Tony! i suppose that's why your chickpea stock is so successful as you focus just on the chickpea itself and leave out extraneous ingredients that overpower the essence of the chickpea. this must be one of those lessons where sticking to the basics and developing a stock with a few ingredients at a time, and then slowly incorporating others as you develop a sense/feel for the basics, will help to develop an instinct for flavor combinations. i will definitely be referring to this often.
  • Alex D
    Alex D
    Not to put a fine point on it, BUT: Stock is brothy, thinner flavored, and mirepoix is "thick", fuller flavored. My successes with inexpensive meat cuts have often depended on a flavorful sauce based on a good mirepoix with the flour nicely browned with the vegs. The flavor effect achieved with browned flour is perhaps best exemplified in recipes for gumbos which call for browning flour in oil until it becomes the color of a penny, and that flavor makes a gumbo "what am"!!! Since stocks are often further reduced it makes sense to me to start with mirepoix. From my mother: delicate flavor = broth...full flavor = mirepoix (which could be thinned for delicacy). Feedback please.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Not sure if I can give you feedback on this one, as I am bit confused by the questions and/or comments. Are you comparing stocks to broths? Or are you trying to say that if you brown mirepoix before adding it to a stock you will get more flavor? I am also unclear about what you mean when you say, "delicate flavor=broth...full flavor=mirepoix". Sorry I couldn't be of more help. May I suggest you watch the lessons on Stock and Broth making, perhaps this will shed some light onto this topic. You may also want to read this thread on Stocks vs. Broths - Cheers!
  • Peter C
    Peter C
    This seems to be an awful lot of hard work peeling everything and cutting into cubes etc. I find that I get a great result by cutting up the chosen washed vegetables such as swedes, turnips, carrots, celeriac and onions into coarse chunks, (including the waste tops of leeks) without peeling anything. Then I put the whole lot into a large vessel with a quantity of left-over beef dripping, pork fat etc. I fry the vegetable chunks for a few minutes, turning them over with a big wooden spoon until they begin to soften a little. Then I add water to cover, bring to a boil for a few seconds, then put in a very gentle simmering oven overnight for up to 12 hours. (I use an Aga cooker). Next day strain off the liquid, reduce it and freeze. The result is divine. Any comments anyone?
  • Peter C
    Peter C
    Incidentally I cool the stock, refrigerate and then remove the solid fat before reducing.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Making stock is all about creating your own tweaks to suit your personal tastes. The above recipe is for a vegetable stock (which excludes the use of any meat products). We suggest not adding stronger flavored vegetables (i.e. turnips) as they can overpower the flavor of the liquid; but to each their own. If you like it, that's all that counts. It is fine to sweat or saute the vegetables in some fat right in the pot before adding cold water, simmering and continuing with the stock making process; however, the cooking time with vegetable stock does not need to be very long in comparison to stocks made with bones. Vegetables, when simmered for long periods of time, can tend to break down and cloud the stock. Hope this helps!
  • Peter C
    Peter C
    Thanks Kimberley!
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    is there a general rule of thumb for what vegetables work well with particular techniques and why you would opt out of carmelization? i've seen a recipe for soup where potatoes and carrots are submerged in a pot of water and simmered 'til tender but then the onions and garlic are sauteed. i would have just sauteed or roasted the carrots, too, but wondering what the difference would be. i'm used to the idea of the carrots being part of a mirepoix so simmering w/o carmelization confuses me. are there vegetables that you shouldn't bother with roasting, sweating or sauteing? also guessing the reason why the vegetables are cubed i/o just cooked in large chunks is the greater surface area creates for greater flavor development from roasting? thank you!
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    also, i can attest that lentils are a very yummy addition and my tastebuds highly recommend them!!! i just added them in for the last 20 minutes or so of simmering time as i didn't see the need to pulverize them to oblivion more than they needed to be...unless, of course, someone can explain to me otherwise and then i will amend my ways. thank you!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Simply put, the rule of thumb is up to the cook. Sweating will soften vegetables to bring out their natural flavor. Caramelization (whether it is through roasting or sauteing) will add more flavor and sweetness to the vegetable. The only vegetables that don't caramelize well are ones with high water content such as celery. There just happens to be a lesson in the pipeline on roasting vegetables, so stay tuned. Cheers!
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    thanks Kimberley! looking forwards to seeing the roasting lessons and will revisit the sweating and sauteing lessons, meanwhile.
  • Ilene R
    Ilene R
    After seeing a few lessons and experimenting on my own, I've made some amazing veggie stock for use in particular dishes. Today, I was making a cabbage stew and after I chopped up the veggies for the stew I took the remains and threw it in a pot with herbs: carrots, onion skins for color and a big bunch of parsley. The stock is bitter...I can't decide if it's the herbs I used (dried, old rosemary, some herbs du provence). I thought I could get away with just dashing off some veggie stock to add instead of water to weekday dishes (Ive made the roasted veggie stock and, yum). Is there simply no shortcut? Was it an excess of onion peel, which I love for color but might be bitter? Too much parsley? Thanks,
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    There could be many factors here. If you read the notes at the bottom of the recipe, we do not recommend adding cabbage to stock as it can dominate the flavor and sometimes lend bitter flavors. Dried, old herbs that are musty shouldn't be used in cooking period, so definitely this could have impacted the flavor. Stick with fresh, peeled vegetables and you'll be good to go! Cheers!
  • Ilene R
    Ilene R
    I think the key is that I thought I could make stock out of the parts of veggies that I don't use - peels, stalks,remnants that don't make their way into cooking with the exception of carrots. Also there was a limited variety of veggies(onion 'scraps' and peel, carrots and parsley - I didn't put cabbage in the stock pot, following Rouxbe's advice!). So, the stock didnt have real whole veggies with the exception of the carrots and, if you count it, parsley. Net net: you can't cheat! Obvious answer but thought I'd ask anyway: Now I have this beautiful looking, but bitter tasting, stock. Garbage, right? Any ideas for salvaging it; any conditions where it might be useful?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If the stock tastes bitter and off then anything you add it to will also be affected...seems like you might just have some nutritious water for water your plants!
  • Margie R
    Margie R
    I let mine reduce down to become stronger then freeze it in ice cube trays, transfer to freezer bags and remove the amount I need. Elimanating thawing out a whole bag full.
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    hi Ilene R! if you do any more experiments using vegetable scraps for stock, would love to know more about it. guess it's much easier to use meat scraps to make stock but would love to be able to use veggie scraps for making a semi-decent veg stock. testing that out myself.
  • Wendy B
    Wendy B
    I've just finished the peel-and-chop part of thing, and am now roasting my veggies, and my hands are orange from the kabocha squash. (Not complaining; it's proof of work done!) I just wondered if I could have saved myself the trouble of peeling the squash, because it was pretty time-consuming and a pain in the neck. I persevered because squash rinds aren't edible (at least I never have eaten them), and I didn't think they'd add anything nice to the stock flavour. Did I choose wisely? I've been planning this stock-making for way too long; I dreamed last night I ran into Joe and Donna at Granville Island Market!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Ideally, all vegetables should be peeled before adding them to stock. The tough skin of squash could lend bitter notes to the stock, so you were correct to remove and discard them. I'm sure you have a delicious stock by now. Cheers!
  • Alexandre S
    Alexandre S
    Hi. The 1 1/2 hour of simmer is counted since the water begins to simmer or since the water is added? Thanks.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Once the water begins to simmer. 1 1/2 hours is a general guideline. You might find it helpful to watch the lessons in the Stock section of the Cooking School. Cheers!
  • Alexandre S
    Alexandre S
    Is straining in a very thin mesh desirable or I should keep the tiny vegetable fibers that remain suspended in the stock? Thanks for the answers. I'm enjoing a lot!
  • Alexandre S
    Alexandre S
    ... I mean: the tiny vegetable fibers that remain suspended in the stock after straining it with a regular mesh.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Generally, when making stock a "clear" stock is what one is looking for (as per the lesson on "Making Stock Fundamentals"; however, if you are just using the stock as a braising liquid, for non-clear based soups or if you do not need a clear stock then you do not have to strain it again. Cheers!
  • Gail S
    Gail S
    Hi, I made this vegetable stock adjusting everything ~2/3 of recipe. I didn't have the squash or celery root and had to use regular celery but everything else inc optional ingredients was the same. Unfortunately I felt it came out kind of oily or greasy...maybe from the oil used to roast the vegetables initially. I tried to cool and separate but no real luck. I imagine just sauteeing original vegetables first would use less oil...thoughts?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Perhaps next time you might just want to use a bit less oil when roasting the vegetables. You could also try sauteing them but that is not going to mean that you will need less oil. Cheers!
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    I tried this stock recipe (with dried mushrooms) plus an equal amount of a light pork stock -- as the base for a Ukrainian Borscht. It added an extra depth of flavor to the stew that I have been wanting -- but unable -- to achieve otherwise. Thank you.
  • Matthew C
    Matthew C
    I live in a small town, and I've never seen kabocha squash here. Can I use a different type of squash or possibly omit altogether? Thank-you.
  • Matthew C
    Matthew C
    My apologies, I just found the drill-down about kabocha squash and the substitutions. I have to admit, I'm impressed that Rouxbe has already answered my question. Thank-you.
  • Kevin O
    Kevin O
    Might seem silly, but I didn't see any reference to topping up the water in the pot re vegetable stock versus meat stocks (when keeping bones covered). Is this due to relatively short cooking time in comparison and the tendency of the veggies to compress somewhat as they cook down anyway? Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If the vegetables (same as the bones and/or mirepoix in a meat stock) are not covered in water then their flavor cannot be extracted. Therefore, if the water level goes below the vegetables, it should be topped up, to just cover them. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    Amazing stock recipe. It is the best stock I have ever made or tasted. The only inconvenient is that it's quite expensive and time consuming (specially for someone who has a small oven and has to roast the vegetables in different batches!) But it's worth the effort and I will definitely keep this recipe for very special dishes ans do a more basic stock for daily use!
  • Lalu S
    Lalu S
    Hello, I loved this recipe, but I wonder why you dont include fish stock in the lessons... Is ok to use salmon heads for a fish stock? thanks!
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Lalu - Thanks for your comment and thanks for learning with Rouxbe! So Salmon is naturally extremely fatty and making fish stock with fatty fish such as Salmon doesn't lend to a clean, clear and satisfying stock - when making fish stock, I recommend using leaner fish scraps such as halibut - and only simmer for approx. 45 minutes or so. I hope this helps! Chef Kirk

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