omg. i just made the BEST stock. in fact, this is one of the better things that i’ve made lately and it didn’t even have bacon in it. every cook needs some basic stock skills in his or her repertoire. i have experience making beef, shrimp, turkey, and have even perfected my own chicken stock. but never, ever (and i don’t know why) have i even attempted to make a vegetable stock. maybe i just always fell back on the chicken stock, believing that it would just impart so much more flavor than any anemic vegetable could give up. boy, was i wrong.
i can’t even begin to tell you the dreamy aromas going on in my house while this was simmering. it starts with some basic veggies, then you add a few that you may or may not have on hand. amazingly, i had most of what i needed (including the coriander seed because i’m married to some who uses them for a very special version of hot wings, which i will try to post before the big game), but did have to go to the market for the fennel bulb. despite the long list of ingredients, the whole process takes about 30-40 minutes and it is sooo worth it. i will never go back to canned or boxed again.
i used some of the stock right away for some homemade soup, which i will tell you about very soon. the rest is in my fridge–i will wait to strain it until the morning, then use up right away for another purpose or freeze. really you can and should give this a whirl. even if you think this is too involved, cut yourself up an onion, carrot, and a few peppercorns, simmer it in some water for 20 minutes and never go back!
(For 1.5 quarts stock)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, cut into large wedges*
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 5 to 6 coriander seeds
- 5 to 6 fennel seeds**
- 2 to 3 thyme twigs
- A few peppercorns
- 1 fennel bulb, cut in big pieces
- 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery branches
- 6 cups water
- Peel the vegetables and cut them in big pieces.
- In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic and spices. Cook for a few min, without browning.
- Add the vegetables and cook on medium to low heat for 10 min, until soft.
- Add the water and season with salt. Cover and bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 min. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few hours (or even overnight in the fridge) for the flavors to develop even more. Strain the broth and use when needed. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
*i left the onion peel on intentionally to add flavor AND beautiful color to the stock
**i didn’t have any fennel seed, nor did i miss it