Basic Vegetable Stock
"Mastering Stocks and Broths: A Comprehensive Culinary Approach Using Traditional Techniques and No-Waste Methods"
“This basic vegetable stock sweats the vegetables in the stockpot before adding the liquid. Processing the vegetables into smaller pieces lessens simmering time and encourages more flavor to be extracted. Vegetable stock is light in body and loses its aroma quickly. Use it within two days, if chilled, or preserve it for up to six months in the freezer.” –Rachael Mamane in her 2018 Beard Award–nominated Mastering Stocks and Broths: A Comprehensive Culinary Approach Using Traditional Techniques and No-Waste Methods.
- 1/2 pound white onions, cut into large dice
- 1 pound leeks, dark green parts removed and cut into large dice
- 3/4 pound carrots, cut into large dice
- 1 small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped and fronds removed
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 3 quarts filtered water, cold
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt to taste
One at a time, place each vegetable in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Do not over chop the vegetables. You want small uniform pieces without much liquid. Transfer the vegetables into one large bowl. Reserve.
In a medium stockpot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and cook until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. If the diameter of your stockpot is not large enough to hold the vegetables in one layer, cook the vegetables in two batches. Deglaze the pot with wine while stirring, about 1 minute.
Add the water and herbs to the pot; add more water to cover the vegetables, if necessary. Slowly bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer, skimming the surface as soon as scum appears. Cook for 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and rest the stock on the stove, about 10 minutes. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it on the lid of a container large enough to hold the liquid contents of the pot. Carefully ladle the stock from the pot into the strainer, leaving any cloudy liquid at the bottom of the original pot. Discard the solids.
If a more concentrated flavor is desired, return stock to a clean pot and simmer until reduced. Taste the stock and season it with salt. Chill the stock in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to expedite the cooling process. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze in smaller containers for longer storage.
Recipe adapted from Rachael Mamane's book Mastering Stocks and Broths: A Comprehensive Culinary Approach Using Traditional Techniques and No-Waste Methods (Chelsea Green, 2017) and are printed with permission from the publisher.