How to make vegetable stock by Chef Samantha Gowing

You can put almost any vegetables into a stock to create a beautiful, aromatic foundation for recipes. Onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips and celery are popular, as are the trimmings of dark green leafy vegetables. Adding tomatoes will alter the taste and appearance. Adding potatoes, mushrooms or eggplant, for example, may cause the stock to be cloudy and these vegetables can also absorb the liquid (just like a sponge) rather than infuse it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, any kind, wiped over, peeled if desired, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, trimmed, wiped over, peeled if desired, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, trimmed, wiped over, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary or oregano are ideal
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Method:

  1. In a large stock pot, add all ingredients and cover with enough water to come ¾ of the way up the pot, less water if you would like a more concentrated flavour.
  2. Place over a medium-high heat and bring almost to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, lid off for around 1 hour. During this time, you might like to give the stock a gentle stir with a slotted spoon to circulate the simmering vegetables.
  3. When the stock is to your desired taste, turn off the heat and allow to cool so it is easier for you to handle the large pot.
  4. Carefully strain into to colander that is set over a large bowl. Consider this process so as to be mindful careful that you do not strain your stock straight down the sink – as if straining pasta!
  5. Discard the cooked off stock vegetables as required or salvage and use as below.
  6. Lightly season, not too much, just enough to complement future recipes then store in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 7 days if so.
  7. Divide into storage containers such as glass jars for the fridge is using imminently or transfer to take-out or ice cube containers and then freeze for use within 3 months.

You could potentially dehydrate or dry roast some of the salvaged vegetables, discarding herb stalks and onion skins if using, until completely dried out, then blitz in a food processor to turn into a powder. Just a thought, otherwise toss them into the compost or chook feed!

Recipe by Chef Samantha Gowing