This stock is a great substitute for chicken and fish stock in lots of the recipes in this book. It’s easy to make and works very well in vegetarian risottos or soups. This is a very basic recipe, but many other flavours can be added, such as mushrooms or tomatoes – both would add different tastes for different dishes.

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Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) carrots
  • 225 g (8 oz) celery sticks
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 leek
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Cut the vegetables roughly into 1 cm (½ in) dice. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the diced vegetables, herbs and garlic. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 6–8 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the water, bring to the simmer and cook for 20–30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the vegetables to stand in the stock until cool.

Pour the stock through a sieve, squeezing out all the juices from the vegetables but not puréeing them. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. The stock is now ready to use. If you find it’s not strong enough, then just boil to reduce it until you are happy with the taste. Check again for seasoning after reduction.

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