Homemade vegetable stock is another must-have in every cook's pantry, especially when catering to vegetarians. Unlike chicken stock, a lot more vegetables will have to be added to a vegetable stock compensate for the lack of a depth that you get from extracting all that essence from bones. A lot of aromatics and root vegetables are used here, and first fried to release their flavours for a layered sweetness.
Ingredients (yields about 7L of stock):
3 celery, diced roughly
2 carrots, diced roughly
3 large onions, diced roughly
4 shallots, sliced
8 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 leek, sliced to 1" lengths
3 cups shitake mushrooms, quartered (approximately 25 small shitakes)
1 parsnip, diced roughly
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
1) Fry garlic till fragrant in 3 tbsp olive oil.
2) Add shallots, which has an intensely oniony flavour, and fry till fragrant.
3) Add onions and fry till fragrant.
4) Add leek, which also has a fresh oniony flavour, and fry till wilted.
5) Add carrots and fry for 2 minutes.
6) Add parsnip, which belongs to the carrot family, and fry for 2 minutes.
7) Add celery and fry for 1 minute.
8) Add shitake and fry for 1 minute. You can swop this out for oyster, cremini, porcini, or any of the stronger tasting mushrooms.
9) Transfer to large stockpot, and add water, about 7-8L.
10) Add bay leaves and thyme, and bring to a roaring boil before lowering the fire to a simmer for at least 4 hours.
11) Because there aren't any bones, there will unlikely be any scum that you need to skim off. Strain before use. The resultant liquid should colour a rich caramel.
13) For use up to a week later, store in fridge, in containers of varying
volumes. This way, you can just use the amount you need, without
touching the rest of the stock. For use up to a month, store in freezer.