Put Them In The Stock(s)!

You can use commercial base powders or those little stock cubes in your recipes that call for vegetable stock, but why not use your own, home made concoction? You get to control what goes or doesn’t go in to your broth. Those commercial substitutes are generally chock full of sodium and preservatives, and even the “natural” brands leave something to be desired.

I have been asked by a few readers how exactly to go about making this Vegetable Stock that is called for in a number of the recipes here on Timber Pine Unplugged. Well, today is your lucky day. (Surprise) This is another great way to utilize some of the extra onions, carrots, celery, and herbs laying around your garden. You can also use parsnips, cabbage, scallions, leeks, practically anything (don’t use beets, though) you want in your stock, and don’t be afraid to add or subtract anything from this recipe. You can make a good vegetable stock base with just Onions, Carrots, and Celery (otherwise known in the French Cooking world as Mire Poix). Another thing to remember is that you can make as much or little as you want, and can freeze the leftover stock for about 6 months. So…let’s get started with what may be the simplest recipe I will ever offer. Maybe.

Basic Vegetable Stock

For The Stock:

2 lbs Onions, quartered and peeled

1 lbs Carrots, washed and cut into 1inch pieces. (no need to peel)

1 lbs Celery, washed and cut into 1inch pieces

6 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed

2 Leeks, Halved and washed. (use the whole leek, it’s ok)

4 Bay Leaves (if you have fresh, even better!)

2T Black Peppercorns

Some Sprigs of Fresh Herbs such as Thyme, Rosemary, or Oregano

Water to cover

You can also add:

Parsnips, washed


Fennel Bulbs



Napa Cabbage


and many others.

  1. Prepare all of the vegetables as instructed.
  2. Put the veggies, the herbs, and spices into a large stock pot
  3. Add cold water to JUST COVER the vegetables.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes.
  5. While the stock is simmering, use a large mixing spoon or skimmer to skim any foam or impurities from the top.
  6. After 40 minutes, remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes before handling
  7. Using a wok strainer, scoop the vegetables from the stock and discard.
  8. Place a fine mesh strainer over an appropriately sized container and pour the stock through.
  9. Refrigerate to cool, or use right away. You can also place leftovers in freezer containers and uh…freeze. Your stock will last for about 6 months frozen.

Very simple, and worthy of the effort. You now have some good home made stock from your garden ready for some recipe use. I often just add a little salt or soy sauce and have a bowl of this vegetable stock with a tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella sandwich on Tomato focaccia and a bit of tea. Did I just say that?

Until next time…

Happy Gardening and Good Cooking


look me up on Twitter… @VegChefDSM


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Filed under Cook it! With Veg Chef Sam

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