Vegetable Stock

This aromatic broth is a poaching liquid for fish, shellfish, and vegetables.

The wine is added halfway through the cooking, because if added at the beginning the acid in the wine would prevent the vegetables from cooking and giving up their flavor to the broth.

You can use a food processor to chop up the vegetables into ¼-inch pieces (although I would cut the onions by hand)—it is less work, and allows maximum contact of the water and vegetables, thus ensuring the shortest cooking time, which, as with fish stock, is desirable to keep the freshest possible flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, peeled, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped, washed
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Method

Put the vegetables, herbs, and salt in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, skim, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer another 20 minutes.

Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the vegetables, and let cool. Store in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days, but it can be frozen in covered containers for up to a month.

Variations

For salmon-poaching stock, the white wine can be changed to a young red wine, and for other flavor variations infuse fresh ginger, fennel tops, lemon grass, or fresh herbs in the simmering broth for the last 10 minutes before straining.

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