How To Make The Perfect Vegetable Stock

The secret to a making a good soup comes down to using a good stock. I love making my own vegetable stocks at home as they are much healthier than store bought versions that are normally reconsituted powders loaded with salt, MSG, flavours and dextrines.  Making your own stock is also a great way of using up left fresh vegetables you may have lying around in the fridge.  My basic stock recipe consists of onion, carrot, celery, mushroom, peppercorn,garlic and herbs such as parsley or thyme that are simmered in a large pot for 1 hour and then strained.

I also love to add leek, corn cobs, sweet potato or pumpkin to add a sweeter note to the final dish.  If I’m making an Asian inspired soup then I also love to throw in ginger, lemongrass, star anis, turmeric and coriander. Vegetables you should never add into a stock are cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cabbage that tend to give off a sour note when simmered for a longer period of time as well as beetroot or purple carrot that will discolour your stock. Your stock will keep for about 3 days in the fridge or you can make a large batch and freeze in 1 litre portions for up to 3 months.

What’s good about it:
Vegetables will add minerals and phytonutrients into your stock.  Anti-inflammatory foods such as garlic, ginger, lemongrass and turmeric are potent detoxifying and antiviral herbs to help the body get rid of toxins, stimulate circulation, reduce inflammation, aid digestion and boost your immune system.

2 onions
4 carrots
2 sticks celery
4 litres water
handful parsley stalks
few sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon whole black or white peppercorns (12 total)

Wash + chop veggies roughly.
Combine all the veggies and aromatics if using into a large pot and fill with water.
Bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.  Remember to treat your stock with care and simmer gently – rapid boiling will destroy your delicious flavour.
Strain and discard solids.
Store stock for 3 – 4  days in the fridge or freeze in portions until required.

Sweet potato
Mushroom (adding mushroom will result in a darker stock)

Star Anis
Cinnamon / Cassia
Bay leaf




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9 Responses to “How To Make The Perfect Vegetable Stock”
  1. Steph says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Just a question re preparing the veggies for this stock. Do you chop everything up, or try to leave them as “whole” as possible, for example just cutting the onions and carrots in half as in the photo above?


  2. Amanda says:

    What do you do with the cooked vegetables after you’ve strained the stock?

  3. Jo says:

    Fabulous timely post…I have been saving all my vegetable peelings and made the stock today with the addition of lemon thyme and bay leaves. Now how about some soup ideas? Thinking minestrone…

  4. Jodie says:

    4 litres of water seems a lot for only 2 of each vegie.. Is that a typo?

  5. Rachel says:

    Made the stock last fortnight and froze it in 500ml portions. So convenient and delicious. Not feeling great today, so made a simple soup using the stock, a couple of veges and chicken. Tastes so nourishing and full of lovely flavour. Won’t go back to store bought stock anymore :)

  6. Leanne says:

    Hi Teresa,
    I am about to make your vegie stock again as healthy/immune boosting as I can. I’m putting in garlic, ginger and bay leaf also this time. Does adding coriander, turmeric and star anise make a huge difference in flavour as in, can I still use this stock for anything. Also seaweed? Please briefly explain as I’ve never used it. Thx!

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