Every vegan or vegetarian cookbook worth owning has a vegetable stock recipe, all recommending different vegetables and styles of creating a delicious and nutritious base for soups, beans and grain dishes. I adapted my recipe to provide a versatile yet basic flavor while incorporating the types of ingredients I always have on hand. I am a fan of freezing my stock in ice trays and storing them in a gallon freezer bag for quick availability when in a hurry. If you don't have room in your freezer, you are eating too many frozen foods. You should only have ice, vegetable stock, a few back up fruits/vegetables and maybe a decadent frozen treat in your freezer.
I am not going to include the quantity of ingredients in this recipe, as I think personal preference should play a big part in your stock creation. Some may prefer a stronger onion presence, others may like the taste of fresh herbs and yet others may prefer making it saltier. Mine tends to be light on the saltiness (added by soy sauce) so I have room to modify salt in the recipe calling for stock. I never run out of places to use stock (I prefer it to water in most savory creations) so feel free to make more than what you need for a recipe and simply freeze the rest if you aren't planning on using it within 3 days. I also tend to keep a gallon freezer bag around as I cook to catch my vegetable 'scraps' such as the cut off end of garlic, top onion layer, carrot top ends, etc... I then supplement a stock with the scraps or sometimes even make the whole things with only scraps, though that tends to produce a less consistent flavor. I'll always take stock over no stock so it works for me.
Garlic, coarsely chopped (skin optional)
Onion, coarsely chopped (skin optional)
Carrot, coarsely chopped (peeling optional)
Celery, coarsely chopped (ribs and leaves)
Bunch of parsley (stems and leaves)
Fresh thyme sprigs (dried can be substituted)
Bay leaves (I use about 3)
Black peppercorns (I use about 10-15)
Whole cloves (I use about 5-10)
Soy sauce (I use a few dashes for mild saltiness)
Nutritional yeast (I use about 2-3 tbsps)
Olive oil (optional)
1. For a richer taste, saute onions and garlic in warmed olive oil in a large soup pot for a few minutes, add carrots and celery for an additional few minutes and then add the rest of the ingredients (except soy sauce and nutritional yeast). Add water to cover by about 3 inches and bring to a light boil.
2. To cook without oil, simply place all ingredients (except soy sauce and nutritional yeast) in a soup pot, cover by about 3 inches and bring to a light boil.
3. Once vegetables are gently boiling, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for at least 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Add soy sauce and nutritional yeast and stir to blend well.
5. Strain the vegetables, making sure to catch all small items such as peppercorns.
6. Use the stock in soups, bean dishes, grain dishes or simply drink it warm as a nourishing and comforting beverage.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour
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