How to/ Basics,  Recipes

How To Make Vegetable Stock

Farmer’s market carrots

In previous posts we’ve talked about the basics of making any kind of homemade stock, learned how to make chicken stock and veal/beef stock and now it’s time to look at making a vegetable stock.

While vegetable stock may not have some of the “body” of a stock made with bones, it can still add significant flavor and is excellent for enhancing vegetarian dishes, soups, stews, curries and risottos. Use a light vegetable stock in the same way you would use a light chicken stock; for poaching vegetables, cooking a rice pilaf, or as an addition to a light sauce or light colored curry. Use a darker, roasted vegetable stock, for soups and vegetarian chilies and stews. Consider adding dried mushrooms to a vegetable stock to add color and enhance the flavor (mushrooms are a flavor enhancer because they contain glutamic acid, a naturally occurring version of MSG).

There are plenty of optional ingredients you can add to vegetable stock; dried or fresh mushrooms, tomatoes or tomato paste, parsnips, fennel, leeks, shallots, fresh thyme. Almost any vegetable can be used, but consider color and flavor carefully. Beets will color the stock a bright pink so may be best to avoid. Cabbages and broccoli may add too strong a flavor and smell for some people.

For a light stock, use raw vegetables and water. For a medium stock, chop the vegetables into smaller pieces and “sweat” them in the pan before adding water. For a dark, rich stock, roast the vegetables before adding them to the water. Add flavor and color enhancers such as dried mushrooms and tomato paste.

How To Make Vegetable Stock

How To Make Homemade Vegetable Stock
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 cups


  • 9 cups water
  • 2 each carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 each large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ bunch fresh flat leaf parsley


  • Wash the vegetables and roughly cut them into large pieces.
  • If you want a darker stock, place the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic into a roasting pan. Roast the vegetables in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are evenly browned.
  • Place the vegetables into a stock pot and add the water. Add the herbs and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and cook for one hour.
  • Cool and strain through a colander lined with cheesecloth. Use as needed or freeze for later.



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