With olive oil

Makes: 12.5 cups/3000 mls/3 Litres

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 2 medium-sized leeks, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery (and some leaves if you have them), sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 springs fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 litres water

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, leeks, celery, carrots and garlic, and sauté, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt and water and bring to the boil. Skim any scum from the surface and simmer, uncovered, for 1-2 hours.
  2. Strain stock (if you don’t like it chunky you can put it in the blender to make it smooth) and refrigerate for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. (use it between this time)

Without olive oil

Makes 14 cups/3500 mls/3.5 litres

Ingredients:

  • 12-13 cups/~3 qts./2.9 L of filtered water
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 large carrots, sliced
  • 10 stalks of celery, sliced
  • Any other vegetable leftovers like the tops of leeks or ends of mushrooms
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp whole peppercorns

Directions:

  1. Place vegetables, water and seasoning’s into a large pot and bring to a boil. When it’s boiling turn it down to low and simmer for an hour. Don’t let your vegetables overcook and completely fall apart, check on them after 45 minutes or so.
  2. Strain vegetables from broth in a large mesh strainer and use a ladle, nested measuring cup or bowl to press out the excess liquid from vegetables through the strainer. (see Note below)

Note For Both:

  • Strain stock (if you don’t like it chunky you can put it in the blender to make it smooth) and refrigerate for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. (use it between this time)
  • These recipes are flexible, so if you do end up needing more then just add a little more water and dilute it.
  • It’s always good to use what vegetables you have but the main ones that are really needed the most are onions, carrots and herbs. The point is you want the water to taste like vegetables and not like plain water and homemade vegetable stock  gives the best flavour and is much more natural and delicious that store bought.
  • You can also use any other vegetable tops or skins if you like, but leave out the celery leaves, as they can be too bitter.
  • You can also add leeks, green/spring onions, other root vegetables, already cooked beans etc. to add more depth to the flavour.
  • Please stay away from kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or leafy greens aside from fresh herbs, as it ends up making everything very bitter and the smell is very unpleasant.
  • Also stay away from adding raw beans, grains or pasta.
  • You can also buy vegetable stock in liquid, powdered and cube form. Check the ingredients to be sure what you are buying as some of them have unnecessary additives.
  • If you are really short of time you can make a quick stock with water, soy sauce, pepper and fresh herbs – just simmer for a few minutes, then use.