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Best Homemade Vegetable Stock – Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    homemade vegetable stock cooled and stored in mason jars
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    Our homemade vegetable stock recipe is a cut above the rest. Our signature method and combination of key ingredients yield the most delicious vegetable broth that is both rich in flavor and is the perfect building block for all your soups, stews, and recipes using veggie broth.

    homemade veggie stock decanted into mason jars

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    Why We Love Making Homemade Vegetable Stock

    Good hearty stock is a kitchen staple, and this recipe is a great vegetarian alternative to our tried and true Chicken Stock method!

    This vegetable stock is a budget-friendly recipe that’s loaded with flavor and nourishing ingredients. Whether you’re using it as soup stock, for risotto, or for a boost of extra flavor, it’s sure to be the strong foundation for so many of your favorite recipes.

    Recipe Highlights

    • Only 20 mins of active preparation time! Then you can set it and let it fill the house with its delicious aroma.
    • We used a signature blend of ingredients and key techniques for max flavors!
    • Caramelizing the onions and garlic first yields the most deeply flavorful and rich-tasting broth
    • A little dried mushroom is added for an amazing umami flavor
    • Turmeric adds excellent amber color and anti-inflammatory benefits!
    • We use sweet potato for sweet banknotes to balance any bitterness
    • Homemade veggie stock is only 27 calories!
    • Will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months – freeze them into veggie stock cubes for easy use.

    Key Ingredients for this Vegetable Stock Recipe

    ingredients for vegetable stock organized into individual bowls
    • Mirepoix: a combination of diced celery, onions, and carrots.
    • Salt: We add a relatively small amount of salt to the onions and garlic. It draws out the moisture which helps improve the caramelization of the naturally occurring sugars. It is not enough to make the stock salty (like a boxed vegetable broth.)
    • Sweet Potatoes: One of the keys to great veggie stock is to include sweet potato to add sweetness. They are also mildly starchy which will give the stock body. Clean your sweet potato and cut it into two chunks.
    • Dried Porcini Mushrooms: Dried mushrooms deepen the umami flavor of the stock. Porcini mushrooms are found at room temperature in the produce department, but if you can’t find them you can use 8 ounces of clean fresh mushrooms instead, or a small amount of dried shiitake mushrooms. If you’d like an alternative umami flavor, add a glug of soy sauce or a heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
    • Turmeric Root: for color. You can also sub in onion skins if you can’t find fresh turmeric
    • Cold Water: for the liquid base of the stock
    • Seasonings: the key is to keep it neutral, so we use peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. See other variations and substitutions.

    Step-By-Step Instructions To Make Homemade Veggie Broth

    cook onions and add vegetables

    Step 1: Cook Onions

    Swirl oil around the bottom of a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add in the chopped onion and smashed garlic, then sprinkle with salt. Over medium heat, cook while occasionally stirring until the onions start to lightly golden and there is fond forming along the bottom of the pot. This should take 15 to 17 minutes.

    Step 2: Add Vegetables

    Pour in water and add the carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaves, sweet potato, rosemary, porcini mushrooms, peppercorns, and turmeric.

    simmer vegetable stock in a large soup pot

    Step 3: Simmer

    Increase the heat to high and cover with a lid sitting askew. Bring the contents of the pot to a simmer.

    Step 4: Allow Stock Vegetables to Cook

    Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and then cook for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes until the vegetables are completely soft and the stock is deeply colored.

    strain and store vegetable stock ounce cooled

    Step 5: Strain

    Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth.

    Step 6: Cool and Store

    Allow the strained stock to cool and then transfer it to jars or storage containers. You can refrigerate the stock for up to 1 week, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

    straining veggie stock into a mason jar

    Ways to Use Veggie Stock

    How to use homemade stock instead of boxed or canned vegetable broth:

    Substitute your homemade stock in place of low-sodium vegetable broth. However, if a recipe doesn’t specify low sodium broth, you’ll want to add salt to taste because boxed veggie broth contains sodium.

    We suggest only adding salt to taste, but as a general guideline note that our stock has less than 100 mg of sodium per cup and the store-bought vegetable broth has over 600 mg per cup. Using this comparison as a guide, you can plan to add up to ¼ teaspoon of salt per cup of homemade stock.

    FAQs and Expert Tips

    How to freeze vegetable stock

    Allow the stock to cool and then store it in an air-tight container. It can be kept frozen for 6 months. You can use souper cubes to freeze the stock and then have conveniently measured vegetable stock cubes to add to your recipes.

    How long will the vegetable stock last?

    Store in jars or an airtight container. It’ll last about one week refrigerated, or 6 months in the freezer.

    What is the difference between stock and broth?

    Vegetable broth is seasoned whereas vegetable stock is either low or no sodium. For stocks and broths made with meat and bones the distinction is more nuanced from a culinary perspective. In the case of non-vegetarian stock such as chicken or beef, the stock is made with bones only, and broth is made with meat and bones.

    Can I use veggie scraps for stock?

    Yes! We love keeping parsley stems, the soft outer peel of the onion, browned ends of celery stalks and green beans in a plastic bag in the freezer. We add them to the stock in step 2 with the other veggies. It is important to make sure they are clean and it’s best to avoid bitter veggie scraps such as carrot peels and celery leaves. Limit the strongly flavored vegetables (such as fennel) and brassicas (like broccoli and brussels sprouts), as they will add off-flavors to the stock.

    How long do you cook vegetable stock?

    Once it comes to a simmer, cook the stock for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. If you are not sure if it is done you can taste a chunk of carrot to see if it still tastes like carrot. If it does, simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. If it tastes like veggie stock, all of it’s flavoring potential is spent and you are now ready to move on to the next step.

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    How to avoid cloudy vegetable stock?

    Do not boil the stock mixture, do not stir it, and be sure to only cook your veggie stock for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. You do not want the vegetables to fall apart from stirring or over-cooking, as this will make your stock cloudy.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • If desired, replace half of the onion with chopped leeks.
    • There’s the option to use tomato paste, onion skin, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and/or fresh mushroom.
    • For even more flavor, try roasting the veggies on a sheet pan for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, at 400 degrees F before making the stock.
    • Add in a tablespoon of roasted garlic puree.

    What can I do with the veggies once I strain the stock?

    We tend to compost the leftover veggies because once they are simmered for an hour (or more) they have most of their flavor. A good analogy to think of is that making stock is sort of like making tea. The veggies are your tea bag and once the stock is done they are like a used tea bag. They will just taste like veggie stock! However, if you want to save them, have fun experimenting with ways to use it.

    Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

    Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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    Description

    Our homemade vegetable stock recipe is a cut above the rest. Our signature method, and combination of key ingredients yield the most delicious vegetable broth that is both rich in flavor and is the perfect building block for all your soups stews and recipes using veggie broth.


    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 onions, peeled and chopped
    • 1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 16 cups water
    • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 4 whole sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 sweet potato, cut into 2-inch chunks
    • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
    • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms (see tip)
    • ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric gold 2 inch chunk turmeric root, cut in half lengthwise

    1. Swirl oil in the bottom of a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add in onion and smashed garlic and sprinkle with salt. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are very start and lightly golden, 15 minutes to 17 minutes.
    2. Pour in water and add carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaves sweet potato, rosemary, porcini mushrooms, peppercorns and turmeric.
    3. Increase heat to high, cover with lid askew and bring to a simmer.
    4. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are completely soft and the stock is deeply colored, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes.
    5. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or colander lined with cheese cloth.
    6. Cool and transfer to jars or storage containers. Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 6 months.

    Ratings

    Ingredient Notes:

    Leeks: If desired, replace half of the onion with chopped leeks

    Turmeric: if you cannot find turmeric root, you can use ground turmeric or simply add the skins of two onions instead to boost the rich color.

    Porcini Mushrooms: These are stored at room temperature and found in the produce department or international aisle of large supermarkets and in specialty gourmet stores. Alternatively, sub in 8 ounces clean fresh mushrooms or a small amount of dried shiitake mushrooms.

    Storage

    Allow the stock to cool and then store it in an air-tight container. It can be refrigerated for 1 week or kept frozen for 6 months.

    • Prep Time: 10 mins
    • Active Time: 20 mins
    • Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 mins
    • Category: Soups and Stews
    • Method: Stove Top
    • Kitchen: American

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1 cup
    • calories: 27
    • Sugar: 1g
    • Fat: 2g
    • Carbohydrates: 2g
    • fiber: 0g
    • protein: 1g

    Keywords: homemade vegetable stock, veggie stock, vegetable broth, best vegetable stock, vegetable stock cubes, homemade vegetable broth, dark vegetable stock recipe

    About the Author

    Katie Webster

    Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

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