Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegetable Stock à la Pat

It’s Autumn in New Hampshire, and the cool, crisp weather has me reviewing my heartier recipes. A few of the best use vegetable broth as a base. I’ve tried the canned versions and the health food store boxes. Many were acceptable, yet I'd rather use plain water than add the less tempting versions to my soups and risottos. After some experimenting, I developed my own vegetable stock. The simmering broth fills the kitchen with heavenly aromas, and it’s a wonderful substitute for chicken broth in many recipes. Give it a try, and keep a few containers on hand in the freezer. 

1 large onion, chopped, with skin (Pat’s note: the skin will color the broth)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
Handful of chopped lettuce
½ lb. sliced shiitake mushrooms
½ lb. sliced white mushrooms
2 leeks, well washed and chopped
1 small celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 purple topped turnip, peeled and chopped
Strip of Kelp (Kombu)
Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Generous grinding of porcini powder
3 Bay leaves
Fresh sage and thyme
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. peppercorns
¼ tsp. fennel seeds
¼ tsp. cloves

Combine all ingredients in a 12-quart stock pt. Add water to cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, about two hours, until vegetables are soft. Strain broth.

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