REALLY TASTY VEGGIE STOCK
and it's easy, too!
This recipe is simply delicious. With readily accessible ingredients, you can make 8 quarts of veggie stock - enough to please anyone wanting an aromatic tasty dish!
1 pound of mushrooms, sliced (I used white and cremini)
2 large yellow onions - peeled and chopped roughly
4 stalks celery - leaves removed (otherwise your stock will cloud), chopped
4 carrots - trimmed, washed, chopped (and peeled if you like)
1 large leek - trimmed, halved, and washed thoroughly under running water, then chopped
1 fennel bulb - fronds removed, sliced thinly (save the fronds for your lobster stock)
Extra virgin olive oil (adds flavor)
2 Bay leaves, 1 tsp peppercorns, 6-8 thyme branches
Optional: 14 ounce can cubed or crushed tomatoes, and their juice
Handful of parsley stems, if desired
1. Put a large stockpot onto medium heat, and once warm add the olive oil and all the sliced mushrooms. Spread them evenly over the bottom, and leave them alone for about 8-10 minutes until they are deeply brown. Flip over and cook for another 5 minutes. (this is where your "umami" develops, along with some brown tasty bits on the bottom of the pan - in French, this is called the fond).
2. Add the onions, leek, fennel, celery and carrots and stir. Saute until the onions are limp and translucent - about 15 minutes.
3. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns (and parsley stems), tomatoes (if desired) and add 8 quarts water to the pot. Simmer on medium low for about 2 hours.
4. Strain the stock and either freeze in ice cube trays or ziplock bags, or use within a week.
1. This can be done in the pressure cooker - saute the veggies as described, fill to the "max" mark on your cooker, and pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Alternately, you can dump your sauteed veggies into the crock pot, add water, cook on high for 2 hours, and then turn on low and leave for several hours or overnight.
2. Avoid putting the leaves of celery, parsley, or other large herb leafs into your stock. They will often turn your clear stock cloudy. Save them for seasoning your dish later, and you'll capture even more of their flavor.