Homemade vegetable stock is easy to make and, unlike bone broth, only needs to simmer for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. It is a simple and delicious way to add flavor and nutrients to any dish.
• Save scrap of vegetables in a Ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to use.
• Start with cold water.
• Just 4 ingredients are needed to make a good vegetable stock: carrots, parsley, celery, and bay leaves.
• The onion family can overpower stock so go easy. Instead, try using the outer skin of onions and leek tops.
• Cut vegetables into small pieces.
• Cook down (reduce) your stock without a lid. For every 12 cups of water you want to reduce the stock by approximately 2 cups (or approximately ½ inch).
• 1 dried shiitake mushroom per cup of water produces a richer stock. You can also use a handful of lentils; however, lentils don’t produce as rich a stock as mushrooms.
• When using parsley, thyme, or other fresh herbs, use the stems too.
• I don’t recommended adding salt or salty ingredients to stock. Salt changes the flavor and you can always add salt to the final dish if desired.
• An additional note about salt. Many cooks recommend adding salt to vegetables when boiling them to help retain their color. However, when making stock we are discarding the vegetables and saving the liquid portion. The goal is to extract as much flavor and nutrients as possible from the vegetables into the liquid.
• Additional vegetables, herbs, and spices can be used according to your preference.
• Some suggestions: pea pods, chopped greens, such as kale, beet greens, collard greens, chard, dandelion, cilantro or other greens; daikon or white radish root and tops, eggplant, asparagus (butt ends), the cob leftover from corn (always use organic corn), fennel (stalks and trimmings), bell peppers, winter squash cut into large cubes, root vegetables, such as turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas; seaweed: nori, dulse, wakame, kelp, or kombu (seaweed won’t add a lot of flavor, but it is a good source of iodine which is frequently lacking in the American diet); cabbage, fresh ginger, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, marjoram, basil, potato parings…really, anything you like.
(You don’t need to use all these, just choose a few according to your preference).
• Choose organic vegetables from a reliable source whenever possible.
• Purchase produce from the local Farmer’s Market whenever possible.
Simmer all ingredients without a lid on low heat until reduced by approximately 2 cups for every 12 cups of water used (approximately 30 to 60 minutes). Strain off the vegetables and save the liquid stock. Discard or add the vegetables to your pet’s food. Store stock in individual serving sized containers in the freezer or refrigerator.
Use your vegetable stock just like you use bone broth.
Linda received an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing from The College of Staten Island in 1983 and her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University in 2005. After 25 years as a neonatal intensive care nurse, Linda integrates nutrition as prime pillar of health. She specializes in helping individuals with diabetes, coronary artery disease and has extensive experience working with people who require restrictive diets. Linda’s goal is to provide you with the tools and resources you need to make good decisions about the foods you choose to nourish your body.