Homemade Vegetable Stock
A lovely light vegetable stock is really easy to make. If you haven't made stock before don't be intimidated. Prep the veg, throw it into a pot, add water and cook: the prep time for this is really no more than 5-10 minutes. You can leave the stock cooking away whilst you get on with other things. I freeze the stock in multi portion freezing trays and then add it to my cooking. It will enrich soups, sauces, risottos and so much more; with the added benefit of a little extra nutrition. I used to add cubes of homemade stock to enrich my daughter's purees, when she was weaning too.
Here is my favourite version, but tweak it to make it your own.
1.5 - 2 litres filtered water
2 large carrots
1 large sweet potato
1 large onion
1-2 sticks of celery
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 large bay leaf
6 black peppercorns (optional)
prep time 10 mins ~ cooking time 2.5 to 3 hours
Prep all the vegetables: wash, trim, peel and cut into large chunks (use organic where possible). Place all the vegetables in a large cooking pot, add the aromatics (parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns) if using; then cover with filtered water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that rises to the surface and discard, trying not to remove too much of the cooking water.
Loosely cover and simmer on a low heat for 1 hour. The stock should be golden in colour and the vegetables completely falling apart. Take the stock off the heat and immediately strain the liquid stock; from the vegetables, into a large bowl so that you are left with a clear golden stock.
Once cool refrigerate, this can be done overnight. It is ready to use!
Top Tip: it can also be frozen in ice cube trays, really useful to add to your cooking.