Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vegetable Stock

I used to think that "stock" and "broth" just meant those kind of scary yellowish granules reconstituted. Then I learned that you could buy it in a can or box, which was a definite improvement. However, only recently have I discovered the joy of making it yourself.

Vegetable Stock

  • 2-3 celery stocks (leaves and all), coarsely chopped
  • 2 large leeks, well cleaned, and sectioned (cut off the roots, but leave the dark green parts)
  • 2-3 large unpeeled carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered and layers separated
  • 2 large red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and smashed (place under the flat part of a large knife, and strike the knife with your fist to break it open)
  • several springs of fresh thyme
  • several sprigs of fresh parsley
  • a sprig or two of fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • other miscellaneous vegetables (sometimes I add peas or broccoli, which gives it a distinctive flavor)
Place all the vegetables and herbs in a large pot. Add water until not quite covered (probably no more than 10-12 cups). Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 2 hours or so, until the vegetables are very soft. Stir frequently to break apart the vegetables, if you can.

Run the soup through a strainer or fine colander, retaining as much of the liquid as you can. Press on the vegetables to force any more through the strainer. Use as a base for soups, rice, sauce, etc.

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