Vegetable Stock

Like our homemade Chicken Stock, this vegetable stock comes together with ingredients that would normally end up in the garbage can or compost pile. No high stakes here. This is a flavorful liquid that will pay you forward in soups, stews and curries. Store vegetable trimmings in a ziptop freezer bag and put your slow cooker to work doing the heavy lifting, er, simmering. (PS: looking for Chicken Stock? We've got you covered. Check out our Chicken Stock here!)

Be sure to listen to Anne's Q&A on stock and broth on our podcast Smidgen. It's a fun listen plus we make soup and sandwiches. Prepare to be inspired!

We used a 6 quart slow cooker. While the volume is 24 cups, the stock ingredients do take up space, so you'll yield more like 18-20 cups of stock. You're looking to add a full gallon-sized zip top bag of ingredients (this was about 3 lbs for us) to the slow cooker. Your ingredients should be predominately onion, garlic and celery with a smaller ratio of carrot. Carrot is sweet and can take over the flavor of the stock.

While we're not a fan of hard-and-fast rules, there are a few that we follow for our Veggie Stock. Vegetables we avoid: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, bell pepper, potatoes and tomato. Using these vegetables will yield a stock with very specific, forward flavor. Because, we're looking for a flavorful and neutral stock, we avoid these strong vegetables. Now, to be clear, we have no problem with, say, asparagus stock. Just know that it's probably best reserved for making asparagus soup. 

3 lbs (about a filled gallon ziptop bag) Celery pieces and trimmings, Onion pieces, trimmings and papers and Garlic cloves, trimmings and papers
1 lb other vegetables such as squash, zucchini, leeks, mushrooms
1 carrot, cut in large chunks (no carrot peelings)
Handful parsley stems
12 Peppercorns
12 Whole Allspice Berries
Bay Leaves

Place all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker. Cover with cold water and set the heat to low. Cook for 8-12 hours. Strain off ingredients and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Use refrigerated stock within 10 says. Use frozen stock within 8 months.

Take the flavor in different directions...

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