Vegetable Stock

Vegetable Stock

A recipe for vegetable stock.

OK I’ll be honest, I’m so lazy in the kitchen these days – I can’t remember the last time I made stock. Sometime last year probably. I use stock cubes – or if I’m making something nice I use one of the liquid ones. One thing about making your own stock is that you can tailor it to bring out the flavours you love. I think turnip/swede/rutabaga/whatever-you-call-it and nutmeg are really good additions to vegetable stock.

A few weeks ago I was browsing through recipes, as I often do, and I happened upon a recipe which included a vegetable stock and it stated that you should simmer the stock for no more than 1 hour because, with vegetable stock, the flavours have developed as much as they are going to and letting it cook for longer won’t have any great effect and may weaken the flavour. I was very surprised but as my experience with making stock really comes from making meat stock, which does take hours, I decided to give a go at making one in an hour. I have to admit it the flavour does seem to be every bit as strong, maybe even stronger, as when it is boiled for a couple of hours.

Another tip I read, in several vegetable stock recipes (I browsed through a few after reading the first recipe), was that you shouldn’t add salt to the stock; instead add salt at the end of making your final dish. I tried it out but I wasn’t as convinced by this. I must admit to be being very fond of salt and tend to add it liberally to dishes. I believe I end up adding less salt the earlier I introduce it to whatever I’m cooking. Maybe I’m kidding myself but I will continue to add salt to stock.

I added fresh thyme, rather than dried, to the stock. Over the holidays one of the supermarkets was selling packets of fresh sage, thyme and parsley, it’s such a good combination, I used them in a couple of veggie dishes and it’s really got me in the habit of using these fresh. Unfortunately they seem to have removed the sage since the holidays – hope they bring it back!

Great for clearing out the vegetable drawer in the fridge – you can add pretty much anything just be sure to include some onion/leeks/garlic combo to give the stock a proper savoury taste.

Vegetable Stock

Makes approx 1.5 litres

Vegetable Stock


  • 1 onion, peeled & chopped roughly
  • 2 leeks, washed & chopped roughly
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped roughly
  • 2 inches of turnip, peeled & chopped roughly
  • 2 celery sticks, washed & chopped roughly
  • 1 garlic clove
  • bunch of thyme
  • tablespoon of sage
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 8 – 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 litres of water


  1. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan, add in the veg and seasoning and stir around well. Cover and cook on a gentle-moderate heat for a max of 10 minutes. The veg should be sweated not fried.
  2. Stir around well again and add in the water. Increase the heat to maximum, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Pour through a sieve into a suitably large container.


Ingredients are just a suggestion, play around with different veg, herbs and spices

bring to boil
Add all to the pot, sweat for 5 – 10 minutes, cover with water, bring to the boil, reduce to simmer for 1 hour.


Homemade vegetable stock