Onions, carrots, and celery give stock a great base flavor, and you can round these out with any of the other vegetables listed above. You can also make stock using any amount of vegetables that you happen to have on-hand, but it's good to have a roughly equal portion of each so the resulting stock will have a balanced flavor. Consider this an outlet for the vegetables that will go bad, or the peels and trim of vegetables in your kitchen.
- 1 onion
- 2 to 3 carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Aromatic herbs
- black peppercorns
- mushrooms/ stems
- vegetable oil
- Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables and give them a rough chop. You don't need to peel them. Throw all the vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them. Add the vegetables first in a dry pot with the vegetable oil and sear for a few minutes.
- Cover the vegetables with enough water that you can easily stir them in the pot. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot and a few wisps of steam on the surface, turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Simmer for about 1 hour. This isn't an exact science, but one hour is generally enough time to infuse the water with vegetable goodness. If you need to take it off the heat a little early or don't get to it until a little later, it will be fine. Give it a stir every now and again to circulate the vegetables.
- Strain and store. Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set a colander or strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheesecloth or coffee filters. Pour the stock through. If not using immediately, divide the stock into storage containers, cool completely. Freeze any excess if needed.