Making vegetable stock?

I’ve made meat-based stock before, particularly chicken stock. Roast a chicken, take the skin, bones, giblets, a little of the meat(wings, say), boil them, strain liquid, cool, skim fat, then slowly reduce the broth to a glace viande. It gives fantastic flavor to gravy or soup.

But I’ve never done a vegetable stock, so I was wondering if anyone could help me. Once a year, during Lent, I go without meat, and I’d like to learn how to make a meatless stock. I could buy it ready made, I think Swanson’s markets it. But as with meat stock, I’ll bet it’s ever so much better home made, even if it’s a lot more trouble.

Anyone have any ideas/recipes/pointers for me?

Mirepoix can’t not be a good starting point:

Also, though I’ve never tried it, Fergus Henderson recommends that the water used to boil chickpeas makes a great vegetable stock (plus then you have chickpeas, hummus, and lots of other possibilities).

This recipe comes out of Chef Neff’s “Conscious Cuisine” cookbook, my number one go-to cookbook for food of any kind. He specializes in low calorie recipes that specialize in substituing high-calorie, flavor dense food with low-calorie, nutrient rich food. For instance, he often replaces oils and sugars with apple sauce, prune puree, and bananas.

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

1.5 tsp parsley
1.5 tsp thyme
1.5 tsp oregano
t tbsp black peppercorn
3 medium onions
2 celery ribs
3 medium carrots
1 medium leek
10 medium mushrooms, quartered
2 tomatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 smal fennel bul, chopped

2 quarts water; filtered is preferable.

Wrap the herbs and peppercorns in a sachet (cheesecloth tied with butcher’s twine). Sautee the veggies over medium heat until soft, then add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and toss in the herb sachet. Simmer for a couple of hours and run it through a strainer to remove any impurities.

This is delicious. Unbelievably flavorful, and a quick addition to nearly any dish for a burst of flavor. Let me know if you want any ideas on what kind of recipes it can be used in.

Thanks very much for your replies!

Huerta88, I’m definitely going to check out that link.

Influential Panda I’ll try that stock and let you know what I think. It looks delicious! We have a local Farmer’s Market in the summer, and some of the vendors have fresh herbs, I’ll bet it will be even better then! I like making soup with my stocks, or using the chicken stock for gravy. It makes a world of difference in the flavor when using your own preparations rather than boullion cubes or commercial bases.

I recommend making squash soup or french onion. I can help you out with a low-cal french onion if you don’t want to load it with pounds of gruyere and provolone.

It would be good either way!:smiley:

But yes, I’d like the squash soup recipe as well!

Mushrooms add flavor; eggplant adds body; nuts at texture; beer adds depth.

I’ve never made vegetable stock, so what the hell do I know. But, if you took Influential Panda’s recipe and roasted the vegetables rather than sauteing them, I bet the resulting stock would be awesome!

Also, my brother, who was made his living as a cook, highly recommendsBetter than Bouillon. If your stock seems wimpy after you make it, add a couple of teaspoons of the BTB vegetable base.

Beer is like garlic, you can never have enough!:stuck_out_tongue:

I like sliced fried eggplant lissener. I make a dried vegetable mix each summer for use in winter soups, and I usually have some dried eggplant in there. There’ also carrots, onion, celery, a couple kinds of squash, and tomato.

freckafree, your post wasn’t there when I posted, I’ll look up that link as well!

It’s pretty good stuff. Where bullion cubes are mostly salt and sugar, BTB paste is actually made from chicken meat, chicken juices and chicken fat, along with the usual salts and sugars (but the latter are not the first listed ingredients).

Kind of like with meat, you can throw mushroom stems (whether you’re doing stuffed caps, or if it’s a variety that has woody stems like shiitake) in a bag in the freezer to add to vegetable stock later.

Roasted red peppers add a real bang to veggie stock as well.

I think that I’ll set aside this Friday evening, or Saturday, to make veggie stock, taking into consideration all the points I’ve been given. I’ll report back on how it turns out.

Each summer I make and freeze salsa fresca. When thawing a batch I save the liquid that drips off and pour it over ice cubes in a glass. Healthy and refreshing. Since I put in a little onion and jalapeno, it has some zing, like a spicy V-8, but isn’t so hot as to burn.

Influential Panda, can you send me your directions for the French onion soup? Also, about your stock directions, I can’t get the fennel bulb, so I’m going to go with **Chefguy’s suggestion to add roasted red peppers. I like roasted red peppers anyway!

You can roast the vegetables first too.

Then make your stock.