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Vegetable Stock, Times Two - Food Gypsy

Vegetable Stock – Squared

Spring.  If you’re lucky, in your part of the western hemisphere, its spring.  Green shoots sprouting, flowers peeking up from the warm earth ready to bloom — the cycle begins again.

After a long winter we begin to crave all things green in great abundance.  Outdoor markets begin to appear, and we get itchy for those tender leaves and new growth.  Nature knows what she’s doing.  That spring growth is packed with all the things we need to cleanse and clear the body after the winter months.

This month on Food Gypsy we’re getting a jump on spring with ‘VEG HEAD’ month, a little tribute to the produce section and all things fruit and veggie related and taking a walk on the wild side with grains and nuts, largely underutilized resources in your supermarket.

I’m an omnivore, I eat meat (and everything else) and I enjoy it.  I prefer to buy my meat from farms that I know, who’s butchery practices are humane (or better) – believing as I do, that we are what we eat; nobody wants to eat fear.

Farmer’s markets are huge business in North America and the slow food movement is picking up steam – everyday there are more avenues to know your farmer and support local business.

Many people are moving to vegetarianism or vegan as a lifestyle choice — statistics say that 4 out of every ten diners are looking for an alternative to meat when dining out.  That’s up from 2 out of ten just ten years ago. 

We’re not advocating one or the other, you’re an adult, you can make the choice that’s right for you.  But with numbers growing everyday you just never know when you’ll be feeding a vegetarian/vegan and they need more than just salad.

Whether you’re a culinary professional, feeding friends and family through the BBQ season, or just looking for some new applications to get more veg into your life (or into the picky eater in your life) over this month we hope to give you some interesting and fun ideas to do so.

Starting with the most basic of basics – stocks.  Two applications, one rich sweet and hearty the other clear and delicate and both are great way to clean out the fridge.

You will note that there is no salt in either recipe, stocks  are a concentrated, floured liquid; therefore whatever salt you use will concentrate.  Instead, build flavour and dimension and add salt in the final round of cooking.

Vegetables, ready for roasting
Small(ish) oven, had to use two trays…


Yesterday I checked the labels of three leading brands of organic vegetable stock, all contained concentrated and dehydrated vegetables and aromatics… not one simply listed “carrots” as in ingredient.  Stocks take a while but are well worth it both nutritionally and budget wise.

I love having homemade broths in house.  Both of these stocks are vegan, simple, yummy and freeze well, but they do take a bit of time.  The roasted vegetable broth I use as a tonic, often drinking it cold.  We’re even going to show you a cocktail application to amaze your friends (vodka, that’s made from potatoes/grains!) – just for fun.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be using both stocks in at least two applications as we dive in head first… and eat /drink our vegetables.  Just like Mom said (OK, so she may have missed the drink part, or not, depends on your Mom.  But that it a different topic for a different day).

Cheers to spring.

Turning vegetables during roasting De-glazing with white wine Straining after cooking

Roasted Vegetable Stock

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 – 21/2 hours
Yeild: 12 cups


• 1 Whole head garlic
• 4 Carrots, cut into chunks
• 2 Stalks celery, cut into chunks
• 2 Onions, cut in half
• 1 Shallot, cut in half
• 1 Yellow pepper, quartered
• 1 Red pepper, quartered
• 2 Zucchini, quartered
• 2 Leeks, white & light green, sliced in half keeping the root end in tact and cleaned under running cold water
• 1 Cup Mushrooms, pieces or whole
• 3 Tomatoes, cut in half
• 1/4 Cup olive oil
• 1/2 Cup white white – to deglaze
• White pepper to taste
• 12 cups water
• 4 stems thyme
• 4 stems parsley
• 12 – 20 whole peppercorns
• 3 bay leaves


1. Preheat oven to 400* F (200* C).
2. Cut the top off the head of garlic. Arrange the garlic, carrots, celery, onion, pepper, and tomato on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables; season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven, turning every 20 minutes, until tender and browned, about 1 hour.
4. Combine the water, thyme, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
5. Remove roasted vegetables from baking tray, Place the carrots, celery, onion, pepper and tomato in the stock pot.  Squeeze the head of garlic into the stock pot, and discard the outer husk
6. Place baking tray on the stove top, with burners on medium heat, using white wine deglaze trays and harvest the roasted vegetable juices on the bottom of the tray and pour that dark amber liquid into the stock pot with the vegetables.
7. Bring the water to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours; strain (pressing liquid and small amount of vegetable pulp through strainer for richer consistency) and cool.

The result is a rich, thick deep coloured broth which can be seasoned, served on it’s own as a sweet, floauorful soup with or without added ingrediants or subsitited in any recipe that calls for beef or veal stock.


Use big chunks and let the simmer bring out the flavour A long slow, simmer then strain.

Clear Vegetable Stock

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 – 21/2 hours
Yeild: 6 cups


• 3 Cloves garlic, whole, crushed
• 1 Carrot, cut into chunks
• 1 Stalk celery, cut into chunks
• 1 Onions, cut in half
• 1 Shallot, cut in half
• 1 Leeks, light green, cleaned under running cold water
• 1 Small zucchini, quartered
• 1 Cup Mushrooms, pieces or whole
• 6 cups water
• 2 stems thyme
• 2 stems parsley
• 6 – 12 whole peppercorns
• 2 bay leaves


1. Combine all ingredients in COLD water water, in a large stock pot over medium heat. Slowly bring the water to a small boil; immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 – 21/2 hours; strain and cool.

In this stock we do not brown anything as we are avoiding colour – even the choice of vegetables have little colour, for a simple broth.

The result is a clear, delicate stock which can be seasoned, served on it’s own as mellow, nutritious soup or substituted in any recipe that calls for chicken stock.

Roasting Garlic
For the love of garlic.

Cori Horton

Fearlessly cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, food marketing consultant, recipe developer and sustainability advocate. A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and now shares all things delicious - right here.

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