Quick and Easy Vegetable Stock Recipe

Vegetable stock
Vegetable stock. Alexandra Grablewski / Getty Images
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 gallon (16 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
46 Calories
2g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 gallon (16 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 46
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 21mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 1g
Calcium 38mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making vegetable stock is quick compared to beef or chicken stock, but it's no less flavorful.

Vegetable stock only needs to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes to extract the maximum flavor. In fact, quality can start to diminish if the vegetables are simmered for too long.

There's no seasoning (i.e. salt) added to this vegetable stock, mainly because you're probably using the stock as an ingredient in another recipe, whether it's a soup, a sauce or something else. You don't want to start with a salty stock or you won't be able to control how salty the final dish is.

Note that the ingredients listed below are fairly standard, but are not the only ones you can use for making vegetable stock. Indeed, you could use others, but bear in mind that certain vegetables, like brussels sprouts, let's say, or cauliflower, are far too strong for making vegetable stock and will definitely overpower it with their unique aroma.

Likewise, simmering green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale for an extended period can produce a flavor profile that might not be considered pleasant or desirable. Other items, such as beets, are inappropriate additions to a vegetable stock because of the color they impart.

Some cooks don't mind adding a limited amount of starchy vegetables to a stock, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and so on. The issue here is that starchy ingredients can cause your stock to turn cloudy. You might not necessarily mind this, but you should be aware of it so that you can decide accordingly.

The point is that a vegetable stock is not just pot for you to simmer your vegetable scraps indiscriminately. Onion skin, for instance, will add wonderful onion flavor to a vegetable stock, but it will also contribute a brownish color. You may or may not want this, but it's something to be aware of.

One ingredient not listed here but which is certainly a welcome one in a vegetable stock are white mushrooms. Mushrooms are known to feature the umami flavor, which is described as meaty or savory, and white mushroom stems or trimmings will contribute umami flavor while remaining color-neutral. Other mushroom varieties will also work, but can produce a darker color. Again, depending on your preference, this might be acceptable or not.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon water (cold)
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and chopped) (skin optional)
  • 1 medium leek (white and green parts, rinsed and chopped)
  • 1 medium rib celery (chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 medium parsnip (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white wine (something drinkable)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 to 4 sprigs parsley
  • 3 to 4 whole black peppercorns

Steps to Make It

  1. In a heavy-bottomed stock pot or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.

  2. Lower the heat, add the onion, leek, carrot, celery, turnip, tomato and garlic, and gently sauté, with the lid on, for about 5 minutes or until the onions are softened and slightly translucent. Don't brown the vegetables, though.

  3. Add the wine and reduce until the liquid is about three-fourths evaporated.

  4. Add the water along with the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, parsley, and clove; bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface, but don't stir or otherwise agitate the stock. Just let it simmer away.

  5. Remove from heat, pour through a strainer into another large pot or container. Cool, then refrigerate.

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