Good vegetable stock is hard to find. However, you can look no further. You’ve just found The Best Ever Vegetable Stock. Don’t believe me? Try and find one on the market. I’ve searched high and low. Most are filled with msg, high levels of sodium, and are just down right yucky in flavor. Consequently, I went on a mission to develop one of my own that is full of flavor and chocked full of nutrients.
The real secret is in roasting your vegetables and including tomatoes and dried mushrooms. Give it a go and let me know what you think. It doesn’t take long to make and in the end you will have a pot full of delicious vegetables that you and your family will enjoy.
The Ingreeds – Organic is best!
4 medium onions
1 large leek or 2 small
7 medium carrots
7 medium celery ribs
7 medium tomatoes
Any left over vegetables you have in your refrigerator or freezer. (optional)
Remember, you can personalize the following seasonings according to your taste. These are my suggestions as to what works best. My family loves this combination:
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 ounce dried mushrooms (we use shitake. porcini, oysters, lobsters or any dried mushroom you like will do)
Half a bunch of fresh parsley
2 bay leaves (we use California bay leaves. They are stronger)
Himalayan sea salt to taste (optional)
12 whole black peppercorns (optional)
14 cups of filtered good quality water
Step One – Roast all of your vegetables.
This is the most important step to enhance a deeper flavor. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleaning).
Then peel the onions and 1/4 chop. Peel carrots, clean celery, and slice in 1″ chunks. Wash tomatoes and cut in half. Slice leeks and clean in a bowl of cold water. Once everything is prepared, using a large bowl, add all of your vegetables and toss with olive oil. Finally, roast them for about 20 minutes. Stir and roast for another 15 minutes. Most important – be sure to watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Meanwhile, as the vegetables are roasting, place dried mushrooms in a bowl with 2 cups of filtered water and allow them to soak. This will reconstitute the mushrooms and allow them to create a broth that will add additional umami flavor to the final stock. This is what separates the good stocks from the bad. You have to be willing to go the extra mile. It will be worth the added flavor in the end.
Step Two – Simmer Stock.
Prepare a large stock pot with 11 cups of filtered water. Add all of the roasted vegetables, parsley, bay leaves, salt if using, peppercorns if using, mushrooms and mushroom water to the pot. At this stage you can add any aromatics you choose. This is where you can be creative with your flavors. Some favorites are: thyme, fennel, oregano, basil, and red pepper (if you wish to add some heat). At this point, personally I like to keep my stock neutral. When it is time to use the vegetable stock in recipes, you can personalize the flavors according to the dish you are cooking. Simmer on low heat for a minimum of 45 minutes. The longer you allow it to simmer, the more flavor it will have. Obviously, this stock is so versatile. Master this main recipe and you are on your way to better tasting food. Or a simple, warm, and satisfying cup of The Best Ever Vegetable Stock.