I used to always use those powders to make soup, but I’ve made the switch to homemade stock. It’s delicious, easy to make and a good way to make use of leftover vegetables.
The recipe I always use is from the Rebar Cookbook (which everyone should own, by the way), but adapted for my own tastes. And you don’t have to be exact with quantities – use what you have.
I always put my leek tops and shiitake stems in the freezer so they’re ready for making stock. You can do this with a lot of vegetables and it means less waste and an easier job cooking.
Basic Vegetable Stock
Adapted from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (large) or 2 (small) yellow onions
2 leeks, greens only, or combination of leek greens and garlic scapes
1 garlic bulb
1 celeriac root
1 to 2 cups shiitake mushroom stems (or whole mushrooms)
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp coarse salt
few sprigs thyme, parsley and/or sage
20 cups cold water
1. Peel and roughly chop the onions, leeks, carrots and celeriac. Separate the garlic bulb and smash the cloves with the flat of your knife. Quarter the apple. If using whole mushrooms, chop them roughly.
2. Heat oil in a large stock pot and add the onions, leeks, carrots, celeriac, salt and bay leaves. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add all of the remaining ingredients, starting with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Strain and cool if not using immediately. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.