Homemade vegetable stock is easy to make and is a great way to add flavor to other dishes. Use the vegetables that you have on hand or save veggie scraps to turn into stock.
Homemade stock is a great staple to keep on hand for use in other dishes. I love making stock because a simmering pot always fills the house with a wonderful aroma.
Why homemade stock is so good
Keep in mind this is more of a method than an exact recipe. Feel free to substitute and use what you have on hand.
- Vegetables - onions, carrots, celery, fennel stalks, leeks or shallots, chives
- Veggie scraps - carrot peels, fennel fronds, celery tops, onion skins, dark stems of leeks
- Fresh herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage, tarragon, parsley, bay leaves
- Seasonings -peppercorns or garlic cloves
TIP: When cooking other recipes, save the veggie scraps. Store in a freezer-safe bag and accumulate for making stock.
Vegetables to avoid when making stock
Not all vegetables are good candidates for making stock. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, create a cloudy, somewhat gummy stock. Softer veggies like green beans or zucchini can become bitter when cooked for a long time.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Add chopped vegetables (and scraps if using) to a large pot. Add herbs and seasonings.
- Add 8 cups of water.
- Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 hours.
- Strain, cool, and transfer stock to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for 2-3 months.
Ways to use stock
Homemade stock is a great way to impart additional flavor to other recipes.
- Use as the cooking liquid for risotto or other rice dishes.
- Use as a base for soups, gravies, or sauces.
- Substitute for wine when deglazing a pan.
- Use as the cooking liquid for pasta.
Yes. Generally, broth is made from meat and stock is made from bones. Since vegetables do not contain gelatin, which is found in bones, vegetable stock, and broth are the same thing.
Yes, vegetable and chicken (or beef) stock can generally be used interchangeably. For vegetarian recipes, vegetable stock can be replaced with a combination of water and soy sauce.
Fennel stalks can be used like celery in soups and stews. The green fronds can be used as a garnish or chop them and use like other fresh herbs. The whole fennel bulb - stalks and fronds - adds great flavor to stocks and broths.
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- 1 fennel bulb (stalk and fronds)
- 3-4 stalks celery (stalks and leafy tops)
- 1-2 shallots (or leek)
- 2-3 carrots (unpeeled, roughly chopped)
- 1 large onion (with skins, roughly chopped)
- 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bunch fresh chives
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 8 cups water
- To a large stock pot or dutch oven, add the vegetables, herbs, and peppercorns. Add the water.
- Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1-2 hours. Strain and transfer the stock to an airtight container(s). Refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for 2-3 months.
- Avoid using starchy vegetables, such as potatoes. They create a cloudy, somewhat gummy stock. Softer veggies like green beans or zucchini should also be avoided since they turn bitter when cooked for a long time.
- When making other recipes, save veggie scraps such as carrot peels, onion skins, or fennel fronds. Freeze to use in veggie stock.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated.