By Paul Gayler
There are as many different recipes for vegetable stock as there are cooks, but most of them contain sweet-tasting vegetables such as carrots and leeks.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add all the vegetables and the garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the wine, if using, then add the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf and water.
Bring to the boil, add the salt and simmer for 40 minutes, until reduced by a third of its original volume. Strain through a fine sieve and leave to cool. Refrigerate until required or fr