Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock

Welcome to the heart of homemade goodness! Dive into the art of crafting your very own vegetable broth with this easy-to-follow recipe. This essential kitchen skill will elevate your culinary creations, infusing them with the rich and wholesome flavours of fresh greens.  Discover the joy of crafting your own stock, perfect for enhancing the richness of soups, risottos, and more.

Servings

 

4

Ready In:

 

75 min

Calories:

 

21

Good For:

 

Light Dinner

A Homage to Nonna’s Vegetable Broth

By: Silvana Lanzetta

Whipping up your own vegetable broth is a genuine kitchen revelation. Forget bouillon cubes; ditch the synthetic mixes – this is the real deal! The process is a breeze, especially if you follow a few golden rules. It’s like my grandmother used to do; she had a pot of vegetable stock bubbling on her hub almost every day.

Start with cold water; pick a tall pot, and don’t be afraid to crank up the heat initially. Once it hits a boiling point, let it simmer for about an hour. My grandma swore by this technique, and her kitchen was always filled with delightful aromas.

Now, you want a broth with a delicate straw hue – and not dominated by veggie bits. Remember, size matters: keep those veggie cuts not too small. 

white bowl filled with homemade vegetable stock

Vegetables that are unsuitable for making stock

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables:
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Cabbage
  2. Strongly Aromatic Vegetables:
    • Radishes
    • Turnips
    • Rutabagas
  3. Bitter Vegetables:
    • Artichokes
  4. Starchy Vegetables:
    • Potatoes (can make the stock cloudy)**
  5. High Water Content Vegetables:
    • Lettuce
    • Cucumbers

**Adding potatoes to your stock may cause slight cloudiness, but it’s a good thing! The released starches act as natural thickeners, giving ragus and risottos a comforting, velvety texture.

Crafting the Perfect Homemade Vegetable Stock Base

For the base, think about celery, carrots with a peel but no head and tail, and whole onions. Keeping the onion peel adds a rich lovely colour – another trick from my grandma’s kitchen. She’d pierce them with bay leaves and cloves, letting the aroma infuse the broth.

To elevate the flavour, bring in seasonal delights like courgettes, fennel, tomatoes (seedless for purity), leeks, and a medley of herbs – bay leaves, chervil, and parsley stems (my personal favourite). And don’t forget the peppercorns; they add that extra zing that makes all the difference.

Here’s a pro tip: Hold off on the salt. This versatile broth is your kitchen’s secret weapon for a variety of recipes, and you never want to worry about salt concentration due to liquid evaporation during cooking. Happy cooking and enjoy the delightful journey of homemade goodness!

onion, carrots, and celery close up
farmer market stall showcasing an array of vegetables

Nutrition

 

The provided vegetable broth recipe is generally low in calories and fat-free while being rich in vitamins and minerals from the assortment of vegetables and herbs used. It can be a healthy addition to your diet, offering hydration and potential benefits from the various nutrients present. The broth is low in protein, so it’s recommended to pair it with other protein sources for a more balanced meal. 

  • Proteins 0% 0%
  • Carbs 1% 1%
  • Fats 0% 0%
white bowl filled with homemade vegetable stock

Make vegetable broth, the Italian way!

Water

Using cold filtered water for your veggie stock is like giving it a little extra love. Here’s why it’s a good call:

Fresh Start: Cold water ensures a fresh kick-off, preserving the natural flavours of the veggies without any interference from warmer temperatures.

Pure Goodness: Filtered water eliminates impurities, providing a clean canvas for the vegetables to shine. It’s like giving your stock a spa day!

Hard Water Hero: If you’re in an area with hard water, filtered water is your kitchen sidekick. It tames the minerals in hard water that can sometimes mess with the delicate balance of flavours in your stock. Consider it a guardian against any unwanted taste surprises!

Gentle Extraction: Cold water gently coaxes out the flavours from the veggies, allowing a slow and thorough extraction process. This results in a more nuanced and rich stock.

Temperature Control: Starting with cold water prevents immediate boiling, allowing you to bring the pot to a boil gradually. This gradual heat helps to extract flavours without risking bitterness.

Avoid Oil

Why give your vegetable stock unnecessary baggage? Skip the oil for a few good reasons. It can create a pesky layer on top, making it a hassle to get rid of impurities. Plus, going oil-free means you have the freedom to control the fat content in your dishes later on. Keep it simple and clean – your vegetable stock will thank you for it, and so will your recipes!

 

Vegetables

Crafting a delicious Italian homemade vegetable stock is a culinary adventure, and the choice of vegetables plays a crucial role. Here’s a rundown of the veggies that make this stock so delightful:

1. Onions: Provide a sweet and savoury undertone, enhancing the overall flavour of the stock.

2. Carrots: Contribute a subtle sweetness and add depth to the stock, creating a well-rounded taste.

3. Celery: Brings a refreshing, earthy note, while the leaves add a hint of herbaceousness.

Remember, the most basic stock must include at least the above three vegetables.

4. Tomatoes: Deseeded for purity, infuse a rich umami essence, boosting the overall depth and complexity of the stock.

5. Courgettes (Zucchini): Courgettes add a lovely, mild flavour to the veggie mix.

6. Fennel: Imparts a subtle anise-like flavour, providing a unique and refreshing twist.

Each vegetable contributes its unique character, creating a symphony of flavours in the stock. Together, they form the backbone of countless Italian dishes, enhancing the culinary experience with their aromatic and wholesome essence.

 

 

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Avoid Salt

Skip the salt in your homemade vegetable stock for a more versatile cooking experience! It gives you the freedom to spice up your recipes just the way you like, and bonus: it helps you avoid any accidental salty surprises. Trust me, with water evaporating during cooking, keeping it unsalted ensures your dishes won’t accidentally become too salty. So, enjoy a versatile base that plays well with all kinds of delicious flavours in your kitchen adventures!

 

The Potato Dilemma

Now, some folks might steer you away from adding potatoes to your veggie stock, but here’s my kitchen secret – I always toss them in! Sure, they might make the stock a tad cloudy, but trust me, that’s the good stuff happening.

The starches from those spuds? Pure magic. They play the role of natural thickeners, turning your sauces, ragus, and risottos into a velvety dream. And let’s not forget the flavour boost – potatoes add a lovely taste to the stock.

So, when you’re in the mood for hearty and comforting dishes, don’t skip the spuds in your stock. They’re not just adding body; they’re bringing a creamy, delicious touch that takes your dining experience up a notch. Give it a try and thank me later! 

 

Herbs and Spices

To infuse your homemade vegetable stock with authentic Italian flavours, consider selecting a few premium herbs and spices. In Italy, the key lies in choosing a curated blend that adds depth to the stock without overwhelming it. The secret of Italian cuisine lies in achieving harmony and balance in flavours. Here’s a refined combination to elevate your Italian vegetable stock:

1. Bay Leaves: Introduce a couple of bay leaves for their subtle, earthy aroma, providing a classic Italian touch to the stock.

2. Rosemary: Include a sprig of fresh rosemary to contribute a fragrant and pine-like flavour, enhancing the overall herbaceous profile of the stock (avoid if using your stock for Bolognese sauce).

3. Thyme: With its slightly floral and earthy notes, thyme complements the other herbs, adding depth and complexity.

4. Oregano: Embrace the quintessential Italian herb by adding oregano, imparting a robust and aromatic flavour to the stock.

5. Basil: For a hint of freshness and a touch of sweetness, incorporate fresh basil leaves towards the end of the simmering process.

6. Parsley Stems: Utilise the stems of fresh parsley for a subtle, grassy undertone, enhancing the overall herbaceous quality of the stock.

7. Garlic: Include a clove or two of garlic to infuse a mild yet distinctive savouriness into the stock, complementing the vegetable flavours.

8. Cloves: Introduce a few whole cloves to the mix, providing a warm and slightly sweet note that enhances the depth of the stock.

9. Black Peppercorns: For a gentle heat, add a few black peppercorns to round out the flavour profile with a subtle spicy note.

Remember, in the art of Italian cooking, it’s not about using all the ingredients in your cupboard, but carefully selecting a few to create a symphony of flavours that harmoniously balance and enhance the overall taste of the stock.

 

Let’s get started!

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white bowl filled with homemade vegetable stock

Homemade Vegetable Stock


  • Author: Silvana Lanzetta
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1.5 litres of filtered water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large unpeeled carrot, with head and tail removed
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 medium brown or white onion, with skin on
  • 50 grams of fennel
  • 100 grams of deseeded tomatoes
  • 100 grams of leeks
  • 50 grams of celery, stalks and leaves
  • A bunch of fresh parsley, stems and leaves
  • 1 gram of black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves (optional)

Instructions

  1. Begin by cleaning and washing the leeks, tomatoes, courgettes, celery, onion, fennel, and carrots. If using cloves, gently insert them into the onion.
  2. Roughly chop all the vegetables, ensuring they are of similar size. Place the vegetable medley into a large pan and cover them with cold, filtered water.
  3. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then add the aromatic touch of bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns to the mix.
  4. Lower the heat. Let gently simmer for approximately 1 hour.
  5. Occasionally skim off any impurities that may rise to the surface, ensuring a pristine and clear broth.
  6. Turn off the heat, letting the broth rest for about 20 minutes. This allows the sediments and impurities to settle on the bottom of the pot.
  7. Carefully filter the broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or muslin. 

Notes

Instead of pouring the stock, opt for a ladle to transfer it from the pot to the sieve. This helps keep impurities out, ensuring a pure liquid base for your culinary masterpieces.

For short-term storage, keep the stock in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It will typically last around 4-5 days.

If you’re planning for longer storage, freezing is the best option. Pour the stock into ice cube trays for convenient portions or larger containers for recipes. When freezing, leave some space at the top of the container as the liquid will expand.

When stored in the freezer, vegetable stock can maintain its quality for approximately 3 to 4 months. It’s important to ensure proper storage in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and maintain the freshness of the stock. Remember to label the containers with the date to keep track of its storage duration.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: slow cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: vegan, winter recipe, traditional recipe, easy recipe, slow food, healthy recipe,

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FAQs

Is it worth making vegetable stock?

Absolutely! Crafting your own vegetable stock is not only worth it but adds a depth of flavour to your dishes that store-bought versions often lack. It’s a simple yet impactful way to elevate your culinary creations while ensuring a wholesome and customisable base for various recipes. Plus, the satisfaction of creating it yourself is an added bonus!

How long does homemade vegetable stock last?

Homemade vegetable stock typically lasts around 4-5 days when stored a glass container in the refrigerator. To extend its life, consider freezing it in portions for up to 3 months. Always ensure proper storage to maintain its freshness and flavour.

What is the difference between vegetable broth and vegetable stock?

The key difference lies in their intensity. Vegetable broth is seasoned and often used as a standalone soup, while vegetable stock is a more neutral, unseasoned base, perfect for enhancing the flavour of various dishes. Broth is ready to eat, while stock serves as a versatile foundation in cooking.

Is vegetable broth good for your gut?

Yes, vegetable broth can be beneficial for your gut. Packed with nutrients from various vegetables, it may support gut health by providing essential minerals. Additionally, the warm liquid can be soothing, making it a gentle and nourishing option for your digestive system.

What are the benefits of homemade vegetable stock?

While it may lack proteins and fats, as they are minimal in vegetables, and contains relatively low levels of vitamins due to cooking, vegetable broth serves as an effective means to supplement mineral intake. It notably provides essential minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.

Is it cheaper to make your own vegetable stock?

Yes, making your own vegetable stock is often more cost-effective than purchasing pre-made versions. By using kitchen scraps and leftover vegetables, you not only reduce food waste but also create a budget-friendly, flavourful alternative to store-bought options.

Do you throw away vegetables after making stock?

No, after making stock, the vegetables can still have some flavour. Consider repurposing them, such as blending into soups, using as a base for sauces, or incorporating into compost for sustainable disposal. My personal favourite? Blend and stir them into pancake batter and make a delicious and healthy savoury snack for my kids! Minimize food waste and maximise flavour!

Silvana Lanzetta

Silvana Lanzetta

“Ciao, I’m Silvana, a fourth-generation pasta artisan from Napoli with a lifetime of experience! I began making pasta at the tender age of 5 under the watchful eye of my pasta-making generalissimo, my granny. Through her guidance, I’ve become a master in crafting traditional pasta dishes. Since 2014, I have been teaching pasta making classes in London, sharing my expertise with aspiring pasta enthusiasts. I’ve also had the privilege of showcasing my knowledge on BBC and in national newspapers like The Sun and iNews, and held pasta making demonstration in Harrods. Join me in exploring the world of Italian pasta and let’s create unforgettable culinary experiences together!”

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