Cool weather naturally has me turning to tummy-warming soups and stews that benefit from homemade vegetable stock. I make stock on farmers’ market day when I come home loaded with vegetables that need to be trimmed to fit in the fridge—and I use those trimmings for my stock.
You will need a large pot, a large glass measuring cup, a mesh strainer that fits on top of the measuring cup, and a large screw-top bottle in which to store your finished stock.
Vegetable stock in 3 steps
Choose mild-flavored vegetable trimmings; avoid strong flavors like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, and turnip. If you have them on hand and don’t mind the extra chopping, you can add potatoes, carrots, celery, fennel bulb, onions, and mushrooms if you like. I do not season the stock with salt because I use this stock as an ingredient in other dishes.
- leek tops
- green onion tops
- fennel fronds
- parsley stems
- cilantro stems
- celery tops
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Roughly chop the vegetable trimmings and separate out the large, dense pieces. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add dense pieces and cook, covered, stirring frequently, until browned bits begin to form on the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the rest of the trimmings and cook for a minute or two. Add water to cover vegetables by several inches and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Let cool.
- Strain the stock into a large glass measuring cup. Discard vegetable material from the strainer into the compost. Pour the strained stock into the screw-top bottle and chill.