04 That Sugar Basics - Vegetable Stock

This is the first in a series to help equip you with the basics. They’ll be versatile and simple recipes that are handy to have in your kitchen arsenal. Along the way we’ll incorporate them into different recipes to give you inspiration.

So I bet you’re wondering what we can tell you about vegetable stock that you haven’t heard before? It’s true, it’s just vegetables and water, but here’s a few tips to help you make a killer stock:

  • Carrots, celery, and onion are the foundation of a good stock
  • Don’t throw your vegetables in whole, cut them into smaller chunks to increase the surface area in contact with the water
  • No need to peel the vegetables, even the skins of the onion will add some extra flavour
  • Roast the vegetables first or brown in the pan
  • Use mushrooms or a parmesan rind to bring out the taste of Umami
  • Start with cold water!
  • Longer isn’t necessarily better – an hour or two is all you need to create a great veggie stock
  • Keep vegetable scraps in the freezer to add to your stock – but avoid using potatoes (they make it cloudy) or brassicas like cabbage or broccoli
  • Use herbs such as parsley, bay, thyme or sage and whole peppercorns to round out the flavour

Our recipe below is a rough guide – feel free to experiment – this version yielded us around 2 litres stock


Ingredients

  • 4 - carrots
  • 2 - onions
  • 3 - celery stalks
  • 2 - small fennel
  • 1 - red capsicum
  • 200g - mixed mushrooms
  • 1 - thumb sized knob of ginger
  • 1 - small handful parsley stalks
  • 5 - sage leaves
  • 1tsp - whole peppercorns

Method

  1. Roughly chop the vegetables, ginger, and parsley stalks
  2. Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a large stock pot and brown the vegetables over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cover with enough cold water so it’s about two inches above the vegetables
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours
  5. Strain, season with salt and use straight away or cool and freeze for later**

**Just be careful not to do what we’ve done in more distracted moments and strain the stock down the sink! Remember to strain it into a receptacle!!