House Vegetable Stock

Written by Eydie Desser

I’ve made a lot of different veggie stocks in my day; some are a little sweet, some are spicy, some are herbal. I use different combinations of vegetables in my stocks to add a certain je ne sais quoi to what I’m making. This stock is the perfect one to play a supporting role! It is very clean, bright, flavorful, and will only enhance, as opposed to overpower your recipe. Be sure to cut the vegetables on the bias; the greater surface area means that more of the vegetable’s flavor infuses the liquid.


  • 7 quarts cold water
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped yellow onions (about 4 large onions)
  • 2 cups split, rinsed and coarsely chopped leeks (about 2 large leeks)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped carrots (about 3 large carrots)
  • 2 fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes, peeled, or 3 drained whole peeled tomatoes from a can (leave whole so that the juices don’t cloud the stock)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fennel (about 2 large bulbs, cored)
  • Bouquet garni: ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, with stems, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, 3 dried Turkish bay leaves placed in a cheesecloth tied with string. 
  • 1 TB black peppercorns


  1. In a large, heavy stockpot, combine all the ingredients, including bouquet garni. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Taste to see if the stock needs more flavor and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and bouquet garni. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container.
  3. Transfer the stock to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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