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Vegetable Stock

Many soups can become vegetarian dishes by using this flavorful vegetable stock instead of chicken or meat stock.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, trimmed and carefully washed
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 large celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. white peppercorns
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

Slice the white portion of the leeks and place in a large stockpot; reserve the green tops. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pot. Sandwich the parsley, thyme and bay leaf between the reserved leek tops and securely tie with kitchen string. Add to the pot along with the water.

Over low to medium heat, slowly bring the liquid to a simmer, regularly skimming off the scum that rises to the surface until no more forms. Add the white peppercorns, cover partially and continue simmering for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Line a strainer with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth and set it inside a large bowl. Pour the contents of the pot into the strainer. Discard the solids. Season the stock with salt and let cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to several days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
Makes about 6 cups.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Soups, by Norman Kolpas (Time-Life Books, 1993).