Cooking in this day and age can sometimes seem nearly impossible. We simply just don’t always feel equipped to just whip something out. That’s why having a kitchen stocked with some basic items is helpful in your cooking journey. I always keep plenty of vegetable stock and bone broth in my freezer to have on hand whenever I need it.
Vegetable stock can have several uses in the kitchen. First, it serves as a base to any soup, adding a savory flavor. Vegetable stock is also used to add flavor to other foods that need to be hydrated while cooked, such as rice, beans, mashed potatoes, or quinoa.
Not only is it versatile, it is easy to make and incredibly cost effective. Ever had vegetable scraps during the cooking process? Simply save some of these vegetable scraps in the freezer until you’ve accumulated a few cups. Then, heat up on a stove with some water for a couple of hours.
If you don’t have any vegetable scraps, you can still make vegetable stock at home by easily by following the directions below.
How to Make Your Own Vegetable Stock
- 1 large Onion
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 2 Large Carrots
- 1/2 bunch of parsley
- 4 sprigs of Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 garlic bulb (you can do 2-3 cloves, I just love garlic!)
- 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
There are plenty of other ingredients you can add to make vegetable stock. However, if you’re a beginner I think this is the easiest list of ingredients to start with. Technically, you can throw a lot of different vegetables into a stock, but maintaining proper ratios can be important to prevent it from being too bitter.
- Peel onion and garlic as needed. Scrub vegetables under water with a scrub brush. Dry with a clean towel and chop well. Chop parsley well. It does not particularly matter what size you chop the vegetables too, but the finer it’s chopped the quicker it will cook.
- Heat oil on low heat. Once warm, after 1 minute, add onions and garlic. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the remaining vegetables and herbs. Add water to the pot, enough to cover the vegetables 1-2 inches.
- Bring water to a boil, then bring down to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour. Strain vegetables from the stock and re-purpose for other use or discard.
- Add salt and pepper to taste to stock. Let cool and either store in fridge or freezer.
Remaining vegetables can be used to thicken gravies or chilis. They typically lose their flavor after being cooked down, so otherwise don’t serve much purpose other than for their texture and fiber.