Friday, November 05, 2010

Homemade Vegetable Stock

While we're on the subject of gravies (in case you missed it, this is my personal attempt to blog A MONTH OF VEGAN GRAVIES for the "Vegan Month of Food" project) I'll share my favorite vegetable stock recipe.

I admit I use a packaged or boxed or powdered bullion or broth just as often for convenience, but when I have homemade stock in the freezer, it's definitely my preference. The vegetables vary according to whatever vegetables (and scraps!!) I might have around, but this is the basic outline I work from. Use whatever you have, but try and have some onions, mushrooms and root veggies, don't worry if it's not quite 2 cups of this or 1 cup of that.
Once cooked and cooled, this freezes well, and I often freeze in 2-cup containers so it's convenient for gravy-making.


  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries, dried juniper berries OR pickling spices
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (no leaves)
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, chopped
  • 10 medium mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 cup chopped turnips, parsnips or rutabaga
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Marmite or other concentrated vegetable broth base
  • 2 cups red wine
  • Aprox 3 quarts water

Place the herbs and peppercorns in a tea-ball, or a 10-inch piece of cheesecloth and tie with a 3-inch piece of butcher’s twine to make a sachet; this makes removing them much easier.

Heat a large stockpot over medium heat and add the vegetables and oil. Cover and "sweat" the vegetables until soft: (cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the vegetables are softened, 5 - 10 minutes, a little browning is OK though too). Add the herb sachet to the stockpot and the water and wine - should be enough to cover the vegetables by several inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, skimming off impurities if needed.

Strain the stock through a colander lined with cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. The cheesecloth makes for a clearer broth.

Use the stock immediately or cool in 'fridge. The stock will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

I like this for soup base and for gravy, adjust the seasonings to your taste (I always say that, I know, but MY tastes are not the same as yours, you may have to play with it a bit, that's the fun of cooking!)

To make gravy with this stock, just use it wherever your favorite recipe asks for "broth or stock".


panda with cookie said...

Making homemade veggie stock has been something I've wanted to try for a while. Perhaps this is the push I need to make it happen.

Dianne said...

I got on this kick where I'd freeze all the onion skins, carrot tops, potato peels, etc and when a 1-gallon ziplock was full of all the scraps I'd make 10 cups of broth! I may have to start this again with all the winter soups, stews (and gravy!) I'll be making!

Tahn said...

Wow, cashew gravy??!! Never heard of it, but looks and sounds delish, so I'm gonna give this a try!

Great blog BTW! I'm a mum with 3 little vegans in Melbourne. I'll be watching to see what else you do for vegan MoFo. I love your theme!