Note: all amounts on vegetables/herbs are approximate. Do not change the amount of cornstarch added.
To a large crockpot, add in this order:
1 bulb fennel, cut into chunks
4 ribs organic celery, cut into chunks (or the base of one bunch of celery stalks, degritted)
4 carrots, chunked
two large or three small onions, chunked
Mushroom stems from 8-16 ounces cremini or button mushrooms (optional)
2 t dried Mexican sweet oregano, uncrushed (optional)
10-20 black peppercorns
6-10 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1/2 bunch fresh italian flat leaf parsley (about 1 cup)
Fill crock pot with water until barely covering ingredients. Simmer on low for 8 hours (or high for 4), uncovered for the last half hour. Remove from heat. Strain through a chinoise (then strain again through cheesecloth for really clear stock…but I’m too lazy for that step!). While stock is still hot, make a slurry of
1 T corn starch
2 T water
While stirring stock, add slurry until well mixed.
Organic celery is more flavorful; if not using organic, increase celery to 6 ribs or add 1/4 teaspoon celery seed. This stock can tend to have some residual bitterness; to combat this, replace one cup of the cooking water with one cup beer. I freeze this stock in 2-cup containers; 4 cups takes forever to thaw and is often too much for a non-soup recipe. To amp up the flavor, add fennel, celery, carrots, onions in the crock pot insert and roast in a 450F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and roasty-smelling. Remove from oven; allow to cool, then proceed with recipe as written. If the container is not cooled before adding water, the cold water could crack your insert.
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Taste: [rate 4]
Ease: [rate 5]