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How To Make Vegetable Stock

Making vegetable stock is a great way to make use up all of the vegetables you have.

Plus, it’s straightforward and quick! 

In this post, we will go over how to make basic vegetable stock from scratch.

You can then add your favourite spices or herbs to customise the flavour for whatever dish you’re making.

Making vegetable stock is easy and helps you cook with vegetables that are in season.

vegetable stock next to celery, carrots and onions

What Ingredients Are Best For Making Vegetable Stock?

This recipe includes carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns, but it can be made with most types of vegetable or veggie scraps and trimmings from the kitchen.

vegetable stock ingredients - onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, garlic cloves, leeks

Choose a combination of any of the following;

  • onions
  • garlic cloves
  • celery
  • carrots
  • leeks
  • parsnips
  • butternut squash
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • rosemary, parsley stalks, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns

What Not To Add To A Vegetable Stock

As tempting as it is to add everything that needs to be used up to your stockpot, try to resist the urge to include the following;

  • potatoes
  • green vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale etc.)

How To Enhance The Flavour Of Vegetable Stock

sweating vegetables in a pot

Of course, the herbs and seasonings you use in your vegetable stock will affect how it tastes, as will the type of vegetable, but so will the way you cook it.

One method is to roast the vegetables before simmering them in water, or you could simply cook them in the pan with some oil or butter for a few minutes before adding any liquid. This is known as a ‘brown’ vegetable stock.

A milder flavour of a vegetable stock involves simply adding the uncooked ingredients to a pan of water.

How To Make Vegetable Stock – Step By Step

The first step is cutting up all your veggies into small pieces.

To make a brown vegetable stock, there are two different ways to make it;

Brown the vegetables by sauteing them in a bit of oil or butter in the pan -just long enough to release some of their liquid and flavour; this should be around 3 to 5 minutes. Then, add the water and bring it to a boil.


Brush the vegetables in some butter or olive oil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then, place the vegetables in the casserole pot and add the water and bring to a boil.

Simply add the raw chopped vegetables straight to the casserole pot and fill with water to make white vegetable stock.

No matter which method you choose above, lower the heat and simmer for at least 60 minutes.

Check on the stock periodically and remove any layer of scum that develops on the top.

Finally, strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a container to cool.

How Much Water Should You Add To Make Vegetable Stock?

Add enough water to cover the vegetables with about 1 centimetre of water on top.

How Long Does It Take To Make Vegetable Stock?

Allow at least 60 minutes to make vegetable stock and about 90 minutes if you are roasting the vegetables first.

How To Use Vegetable Stock

Use vegetable stock in soups, stews, casseroles or anything that requires an extra boost of flavour.

This vegetable stock recipe is perfect for adding to a soup maker or slow cooker.

You might also like: Soup Maker RecipesSlow Cooker Recipes

It is best to use it within 3 to 5 days of making it when stored in the fridge. If using frozen vegetable stock, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and make sure to bring it to a boil before using.

Can You Use Vegetable Peelings To Make Stock?

vegetable peelings

You can use vegetable peelings to make vegetable stock, but the flavour is not as strong and won’t be comparable to those made from whole vegetables. 

But a combination of vegetable peelings and flesh is ideal. Also, using vegetable peelings is a great way to reduce food waste if you are not composting them.

Simply store the vegetable peelings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week – if it is going to be for longer than a week, store them in a freezer and defrost before making the stock.

Can You Add Potato Peelings To Stock?

Potatoes are starchy vegetables, which will make the stock cloudy, so it is best to avoid adding too many if possible.

Can I Freeze Vegetable Stock?

Yes, you can freeze it. It will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Measuring out the stock and separating it before freezing helps when it comes to defrosting just enough for each recipe.

You can also freeze the vegetable stock in ice cube trays so that you can take out as many cubes as you need at the time.

How To Store Vegetable Stock

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days or freezer for up to 6 months until ready to use.

vegetable stock

Vegetable Stock Recipe

Yield: 1.2 Litres
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Make this simple vegetable stock from ingredients you already have in the kitchen!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 or 3 sprigs parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2.5L cold water*


  1. Heat the oil or butter in the casserole dish before adding the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Gently cook them for a few minutes until they have softened.
  2. Add the water - just enough to cover the ingredients and have about 1 cm over at the top.
  3. Add the parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  4. Bring to the boil before reducing it to a simmer.
  5. Leave it to simmer for 60 minutes, checking on it periodically and skim away any scum that rises to the top.
  6. Strain the stock using a fine-mesh sieve.
  7. Transfer to a suitable container and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days or up to 6 months in the freezer.


*add enough cold water to cover the ingredients with about 1 cm extra on top.

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