Homemade Vegetable Stock

Vegetable Stock

Spending a Sunday afternoon beside a simmering pot of stock has become a monthly ritual of mine this past year.  Engulfed in an array of comforting aromas, I just love sitting in my kitchen with a warm mug of coffee and my eReader.  Pleasant hits of parsley, bay and thyme briefly interrupt my casual page-turning.  If you are not making stock at home already, I would highly recommend starting now.  The process of making Homemade Vegetable Stock is fairly easy and the results are cheaper and tastier than store-bought versions.  All you have to do is brown some vegetables, add herbs and spices, cover with water and simmer!  It’s really that simple.  The ingredient list is also pretty flexible.  Taste will not be compromised if you only have 4 carrots rather than 5.  And if you have a stray leek or handful of mushrooms leftover from a previous recipe, this pot of Homemade Vegetable Stock would gladly welcome them with open arms.  So I urge you to block out some time this Sunday afternoon, and give this recipe a try.  Continue reading for the recipe, tips on making a perfect batch of flavorful stock and ideas on how you can use this stock.


Tips & Techniques:

  • Caramelizing the vegetables before adding water will give your stock a big boost of flavor.
  • Onion skins give the stock a nice, brown color.
  • Adding prunes to the stock provides an amazing depth of flavor.  If you don’t have prunes on hand, try dried mushrooms.
  • As soon as your stock comes to a gentle boil, drop the heat down low.  If the water simmers too aggressively, the vegetables will start to break down and cloud your stock.
  • Do not stir.  Once again, this will cause the vegetables to break down and affect the clarity of your stock.
  • Store stock in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

So you’ve just finished straining your perfect batch of Homemade Vegetable Stock and now you’re wondering, “what should I make?”  Try adding this stock to risotto or soup.  Or you could use stock to thin out sauce without sacrificing flavor.  I love using homemade stock when cooking rice, quinoa, farro or cous cous.  An easy way to boost flavor without adding extra calories. 

Sautéed Vegetables

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Vegetable Stock
Adapted from here.
Recipe type: Stock
Serves: 12 - 16 cups
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 5 celery stalks, sliced thick
  • 1 large brown onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and chopped in big chunks
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 small bunches of parsley
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 8 prunes
  1. Warm butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, celery root and garlic, stirring to coat in the butter/oil. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Wrap bay leaves and thyme sprigs within the parsley bunches then secure the entire bundle with a string (see picture above). Add the bundle to the pot with peppercorns and prunes. Add enough cold water to cover everything (about 16 cups).
  3. Bring mixture to a gentle boil. As soon as the boil begins, drop heat to very low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. The stock should not bubble away during this time period. It should remain fairly still with just a few bubbles coming to the top occasionally. Do not stir. Stirring will cause the vegetables to break down and cloud your stock.
  4. Double strain the mixture into a large bowl. Start with a medium mesh strainer to remove all of the large particles then strain again with a fine mesh strainer to remove any tiny bits. Strained vegetables can be saved for later consumption (but will need some salt!).
  5. To chill rapidly, place the bowl in a sink filled with ice and water. Gently stir until the stock chills. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 6 months. I like to measure out 2 cups worth of the stock into small ziplock bags. I then freeze these bags for future use.



    • Brandon Matzek says

      Haha, thanks Averie! Yes, sometimes I find it hard not to snack on all of the veggies before adding them to the pot 😉

  1. says

    Great ideas here about boosting flavor and giving depth to veggie stock. Such a huge problem so often.

    I wanna second the onions with their skins on…makes all the difference visually!

    Great post.

  2. says

    I am a new follower and have enjoyed reading through your blog. The habanero/bacon vodka is what lured me in, and the zucchini butter kept me!! Thanks for posting such amazing eats.

  3. says

    Due to health issues I have to live off of broths and soups once in a while….The same soup and broths get pretty boring after some time, so I’m always out and about looking for new techniques and flavors. This looks so delicious! Never heard about that prune trick before. It’s happily steaming away on my stove at the moment. I’ll let you know how delicious it was :) I also just read that you lived in Heidelberg for a while? I’ve been following your blog for quite a time now but only just read your about page (which is weird since I usually jump to that site immediately)
    Hope you liked our beautiful country and just wanted to say hi.
    Keep up your awesome work!

    bis bald :)

  4. says

    Hi Brandon,
    Happy Happy NY! I really enjoyed your top picks from 2012. I am planning on making some stock today, and happy to come across this recipe. WOW! I’ve never heard of prunes and will definitely find some today and add to the water. Really thrilled to have met you this year. To more fun SD blogging events in 2013!!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Jenny, Happy New Year to you as well :) I hope the stock turned out well. I need to make some soon – I’m out! So glad we met as well, and I’m looking forward to many more events to come. Are you planning on hosting again? I’m thinking about putting together an event – photography perhaps. Jorge’s got a great house for hosting. My place would be quite cramped!

  5. Serena http://foodfulife.wordpress.com says

    by chance, I’ve found this recipe while I was doing some research, it was very helpful, thank you! I have a blog based on similar concepts… Just love home cooking, photography and food!
    Great blog! Thank you for sharing! :-)

  6. Matt says

    This is very good. I only had yellow onions, and I am not sure if this caused the broth to be a little heavy on the onion flavor. Will make again.

  7. Bruce Danielson says

    This is like the vegetable soup my Mom used to make for our everyday meals. Of course, she varied the veggies, added potatoes, and cut them up a little more than you, and usually added little chunks of beef and small dumplings. The magic ingredient, though, was the PRUNES — lots of them! After our family finished the soup, we had no stock left over. Afterwards, my sister and I collected all the prune stones, cracked them, and ate the seeds out on the porch for our snack. Never since have I tasted soup like that. Mom left no recipes for such ordinary fare (ordinary to her alone, maybe). I’m going to try to recreate that soup.


  1. […] with this recipe because it really is a game-changer.  I made the transition from canned stock to homemade last year and I’ll never turn back.  Use stock as a flavorful base to soups, sauces, […]

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