One-Hour Vegetable Stock

MAKES: about 1 quart

TIME: 1 hour, somewhat unattended

There are a few differences between this and the preceding recipe: here you cut the vegetables into smaller pieces, which extracts greater flavor; you pan-cook them first, which browns them at least a bit and makes the flavor more complex; and you add a couple more ingredients (the mushrooms make a difference, as you’ll quickly see, as does the soy sauce). Simmering time remains about the same, but if you have more time, use it.

Double the quantities here if you want to make enough stock to freeze.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, sliced

1 onion, quartered (don’t bother to peel)

1 potato, sliced

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 or 3 cloves garlic (don’t bother to peel)

5 to 10 white mushrooms, halved or sliced

10 to 20 parsley stems or stems with leaves

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

01 Put the oil in a deep skillet or broad saucepan or casserole over medium-high heat. When hot, add the carrots, onion, potato, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook without stirring for about 5 minutes, then stir once or twice and cook until the vegetables begin to brown. (If you have more time, brown them well, stirring only infrequently.)

02 Add the parsley, 6 cups water, the soy sauce, and some pepper. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily but gently. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. (Longer is better if you have the time.)

03 Strain, then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy sauce or a bit of salt, before using or storing.