Vegetable Stock

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

This simple stock can be kept on hand in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days or made in larger quantities and frozen. When making stock from scratch, try substituting different vegetables, such as tomatoes, fennel, leeks, and mushrooms, or herbs, such as basil, rosemary, and coriander. Avoid cabbage-family vegetables in your stock, as their taste and odour will be overpowering. If using commercial stock cubes or powders, choose one that does not contain MSG, hydrogenated fats, or hydrolyzed protein.

6 cups (1.5 L) water
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 fennel bulb and stalks, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) whole fresh parsley leaves and stems
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) dried thyme
10 peppercorns, crushed
3 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
Put the water, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, fennel, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cloves in a large pot; bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve or colander, discard vegetables, and let stock cool before refrigerating or freezing.