How to make vegetable stock

How to make vegetable stock

How to make vegetable stock

Stocks are used as the foundation of many dishes and making stock is a simple process that will improve your cooking immeasurably. Though meaty stocks often take a long time to make, vegetable stocks are usually a lot quicker to prepare and, if made correctly, easily match their depth of flavour.

There are two main types of vegetable stock:

White vegetable stocks are typically colourless and mild in taste, adding a subtle flavour to dishes.

Brown vegetable stocks are rich and deep in colour, adding a more robust flavour. This is achieved by roasting the vegetables before making the stock.

Commonly used vegetables include onion, leek (white part only), peeled carrot, celery stalks and button mushrooms. Other possible vegetables to use include turnip and celeriac.

Vegetables that should be avoided include starchy vegetables such as potatoes and parsnips as well as fresh tomatoes. This is because they break down easily creating a cloudy liquid rather than a clear, colourless one.

Also avoid green vegetables such as broccoli, courgettes and green beans. When simmered for too long these vegetables produce an unpleasant flavour and smell.

Basic vegetable stock


Roughly chop the vegetables into 5cm pieces
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and just cover with water
Bring to the boil, skimming of any impurities that may form at the surface
Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes
Strain through a fine sieve and leave to cool


To make a darker stock, roast the vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes and stir through a little tomato purée before adding the water.

If making a stock to use with fish, you may want to add fennel, star anise or lemon.


Vegetable stock is a versatile base for a wide variety of dishes and sauces including soups, hotpots, curries and risottos. It can also be used to help flavour rice, polenta, couscous and dried beans.