I always make sure I have some homemade vegetable stock in my freezer. Whether used in a soup, casserole, to add flavour to a silky risotto or to make a beautiful vegetarian gravy, this is my go-to! In my opinion, the flavours in this stock cannot be matched by even the best store-bought cubes/pots/ready-made stocks and considering it is so simple to make and easy to store, there’s no reason not to give it a go! I brown the vegetables at the beginning which not only adds more depth of flavour but a beautiful golden colour to the finished stock, but if you don’t have time, it works almost as well when you skip this step and just add all of the ingredients to a big pot and simmer for an hour.
Glug of olive oil
I large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 large leek, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon allspice
* I add 2.5L, but you could add less if you want a more concentrated stock.
Add the olive oil to a large stock pot (or just the biggest pot you have) and add the onions. Gently saute the onions until they soften and start to brown.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to saute for another minute. Then add the carrots, celery, leek, peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, parsley, rosemary and allspice and saute until the whole mix starts to brown and stick to the pan.
Gradually add your water, onee cup at a time. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover it with a lid and leave it to cook, undisturbed, for one hour. After an hour, let the stock cool and then pass the mix through a fine sieve, pressing down on the vegetables to release any extra liquid.
You can use your stock straight away or store in air-tight containers in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. I tend to store it in ½ L batches as this is the most usual amount needed.