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This STUPIDLY SIMPLE homemade vegetable stock is rich, crazy healthy and get you right where you need to be…ahead of the game when it comes to healthy family dinners.
Sometimes I buy vegetable stock, and there are some great ones out there like this vegetable broth, and it’s great if you need it fast and haven’t had time to make a batch of this. There’s a few things a good Veg stocks got to be. It need to be full of flavour, it needs to be healthy and it needs to be made of real food.
But! This recipe is so simple and so hands off, you can get ahead of the game and get a batch of this going in 10 minutes. Probably less.
I’ve made this so many times I’ve lost count. It’s the base of maybe a third of our meals and just…WORKS!
Homemade Veg stock vs shop bought stock. Most store bought stock is full of sodium and artificial ingredients that are needed to preserve it. Some aren’t. I don’t find them as full of flavour as I want them to be, plus with homemade vegetable stock, you’re working towards winning the veg game with the kids. You gotta take the wins. Right?
How to use vegetable stock in your cooking
Is it a stock or is it a broth? I tend to think of a broth of being a thin soup on it’s own, and a stock as part of a dish. Some people say a vegetable stock is a broth and a meat stock is a real stock but really, it’s quite an interchangeable term.
One thing I do know, is get your veg stock right, rich and full of flavour and it’s hard to go wrong with the rest of the meal you’re using it in.
In Winter when it’s cold and you need something comforting to eat in the evenings, I mostly use this stock for casseroles and soups. I guess this is what many of us think of stock as being for.
But during the summer months, this vegetable stock is equally at home in summer dishes. For those long hot days when I don’t want anything heavy, I use it to cook rice and grains for salads, or make a very light vegetable soup, barely altering the stock at all.
My point? It’s versatile.
Healthy vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock is almost always going to be a healthy one. You get to control the salt, and what goes into the stock pot. This recipe uses real food, is so much more full of flavour than most store bought stocks and is simple as can be to make.
I mean seriously, what’s not to love?
How to make vegetable stock
- Chop your vegetables. There’s no need to peel, just make sure they’re super clean before they go in the pot
- Put your veg in the pot and season as you like
- Simmer for an hour and a half
- Strain your stock through a muslin or a sieve. You want to make sure none of the veggie ‘bits’ get through
- It’s really that simple!
How to store your vegetable stock
I like to use these glass jars since we’re trying really hard not to use plastic as much as we used to. They clean well, they don’t discolour and these jars hold almost the exact amount of stock this recipe makes.
Once your stock’s cooled right down, do the jar up tight and keep in in the fridge. I keep mine for up to about a week (it doesn’t often last that long) and if I’ve made a double batch so I can freeze it, it’ll last in the freezer for up to a month.
What not to put in vegetable stock
Starchy vegetables don’t really work in a stock. I know, because I’ve tried. I wanted to create a stock that was a bit more filling for soups, just a bit, sturdier!
Nope, the stock goes way too thick and cloudy, gloopy, so steer clear of starchy veg. Parsnips are better, but they have a distinct taste and the stock didn’t always, read never, go down well with the kiddos. They could just taste it.
I also always leave out green beans (they’ll go bitter after they’ve been simmering for as long as you need the stock to simmer) and any vegetables that have a very strong taste. In our house, that’s sprouts, turnips, zucchini and cabbage. That’s not to say I don’t use these veg in plenty of other ways, they just don’t work in a stock.
If there’s a vegetable you’re not keen on, leave it out. It’s all you’ll taste. And there’s so many other ways to make vegetables delicious, you can leave it out of the stock guilt free!
Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock
- 2 Celery sticks untrimmed, cut into chunks
- 3 Carrots unpeeled, cut into chunks
- 1 Onion leave the skin on
- 2 Leeks untrimmed, cut into chunks
- 4 Small mushrooms
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Bay leaf
- Mixed herbs
- 1 Clove of garlic (optional)
- 40 - 50 Fl Oz Water
- Give all your veggies a good scrub. There's no need to peel or trim the ends, put them all in the pot
- Chop your vegetables into chunks. I keep them big and chunky, but this depends on the size of your stock pot (or any large saucepan will do). Into the pot!
- Season a little and add the water. The amount of water you need will depend on your stock pot. The veg need a little room to move as the cook
- Simmer low for 1½ - 2 hours
- Pass the stock through a muslin or sieve and into your storage container
Looking to get more veggies into the kids?