Awhile ago I posted an article on the homemade chicken stock I make whenever I roast a chicken. Chicken stock is great stuff and it’s essentially free if you’re making your own. Actually I could make the argument that if you’re roasting a whole chicken you’re saving money over buying some sort of boneless-skinless product, so it’s actually better than free. Nice!
While chicken stock is my go to liquid for just about any soup, making rice, or any savory dish that needs a bit of liquid, there are times it’s not gonna cut it. Like if you’re a vegetarian. Chickens don’t go over well with vegetarians. Less so with vegans. Sometimes a dish just needs vegetable stock. So rather than heading to the store and plunking down your hard-earned money on a quart of veggie stock, try making your own. There’s precious little in the way of ingredients and even less to do. Five minutes worth of prep and a half hour worth of cooking yields a better stock than you can buy in any store. And it’s guaranteed all natural. If you want organic stock – just use organic veggies. That simple.
This is a basic recipe, just remember that going forward. You can add whatever else or whatever else you might have lying around. I start by getting a pot heating on the stove. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom and start getting your veggies ready. Scrub everything clean and chop an onion, four carrots, two or three stalks of celery (including the leafy bits) into one inch chunks. I use eight or so cloves of garlic and I don’t even crush or mince them – I just put the whole thing – skin and all – right on into the pan. Throw all your veggies into the pan and cook over a medium high heat for five to ten minutes. I usually add a few sprigs of thyme, some rosemary, and a bit of salt. After things have cooked for a few minutes add two quarts of water and allow the mix to come to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
That’s really it. After the half hour is up, drain and strain the mixture well and you’ve got yourself a really nice stock. No doubt about that. This makes a great base for many soups, you can use it to flavor or cook rice in, or if you’re a vegetarian or vegan I’m sure there’s no end to the things you can think of to use this to substitute for.
If you’re feeling cheeky or ambitious you can add whatever other vegetables you like. Mushrooms, corn, asparagus, potatoes (or even potato skins) – the list is to numerous to even scratch the surface.
For about two quarts of stock you’ll need the following:
- 2 Quarts of Water
- 4 Large Carrots
- 2 or 3 Stalks of Celery – With Leaves Attached
- 1 Large Onion
- 4 or 5 Sprigs of Thyme
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt