About this recipe:Use this light stock as a base for delicate soups and sauces, and in risottos and similar dishes. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
15 g (½ oz) butter
225 g (8 oz) leeks, chopped
225 g (8 oz) onions, chopped
1 large bay leaf
several sprigs of fresh thyme
several sprigs of fresh parsley, stalks bruised
225 g (8 oz) carrots, diced
150 g (5½ oz) celery, diced
1 tsp salt
5 black peppercorns
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr15min
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or stockpot over a moderate heat. Stir in the leeks and onions, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave the vegetables to ‘sweat’ for 20 minutes without lifting the lid.
Tie the herbs together into a bouquet garni. Add it to the pan with the carrots, celery, salt, peppercorns and 2 litres (3 1/2 pints) of cold water. Increase the heat and bring slowly to the boil, skimming the surface if necessary to remove any scum. As soon as the water boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes.
Strain the stock into a large heatproof bowl and set aside to cool. Use immediately, or transfer to tightly sealed jars or freezer containers for storage.
To make a rich roasted vegetable stock, omit the butter and leeks. Increase the quantity of onions to 900 g (2 lb) and carrots to 450 g (1 lb). Instead of sweating the onions as in step 1, roast them with the carrots. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7) and toss the onions and carrots with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes, stirring twice. Add the remaining ingredients and follow steps 2 and 3 to finish the stock. To further enrich the stock, add 10 g (¼ oz) dried porcini mushrooms and 1 tbsp dry sherry with the water.