Vegetable Stock

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]

One thought on “Vegetable Stock

  1. Pingback: Nicole, Deipnosophist. » Hearty Mushroom Soup

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