Stocks are the foundation of many sauces, soups and other dishes and there are times when I prefer to use a homemade stock instead of stock cubes. Making vegetable stock is so easy and with only a bit of washing, peeling (or not) and chopping to do, a pot of vegetable stock will be simmering on your stove top in a matter of minutes. Of course, I wouldn’t be without my handy stash of stock cubes either, which sit next to the stove in a little box.
With homemade stock, you control the flavor, seasoning and intensity and it’s a good idea to double the recipe and store some stock in the freeze for another time. I mostly freeze chicken and turkey stock as they take longer to make.
While preparing the vegetables, I used my iPhone to take these photographs for this post, which is my entry (photograph above) for the Food Photography Challenge #2/ IPhone-A-Graphy over at Simone’s Kitchen. Only iPhones allowed (and smart phones) for taking photographs. With the iPhone I had no control over depth of field and afterwards seasoned my food photography with Snapseed… you can get a little carried away using editing apps for your photography. This iPhone challenge was a nice change from using my usual camera, but I definitely missed using my tripod.
When preparing the vegetables, no need to peel the carrots and if you like, leave the skin on the onions… I prefer peeling them. I keep a jar of dried mushrooms in my store cupboard for risotto and pasta dishes and use 1 or 2 pieces in my vegetable stock, adding another element of flavor which is completely optional. It is best not to add salt to your stock as you will using the stock as part of another dish which will need salt. A quick vegetable stock ready to use for making these Vegetable and Butternut Squash soups totally vegetarian. Do you make homemade stock and have you any favorite aromatics that you like to add?
Homemade Vegetable Stock
- 1 large brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 leeks (white part only), roughly chopped
- 2 celery, roughly chopped
- 4 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 large piece or 2 small pieces of dried mushroom
- 1 unpeeled garlic clove
- 8 whole black pepper corns
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 5 parsley stalks with leaves
- 1 or 2 bay leaf fresh or dried
- 2 liters of cold water
How to make: Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and add some cold water, bring to a boil and simmer (uncovered) very gently for about 1 hour. Strain stock through a fine sieve, discard the vegetables.
Use stock as required or cool and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. This stock can be frozen in suitable container for 2 to 3 months. Makes about 1.5 liters.