Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Homemade Vegetable Stock in a Crock Pot

I had trouble naming this post. I wasn't sure if I should call it vegetable stock or broth. My understanding was that stock is made with bones and vegetables, and since this recipe is based on all vegetables I was confused. When I started searching on the internet about this question I realized I wasn't the only one who was asking about it. I found these posts from fine Cooking and TheKitchn very helpful. Like my "Homemade Chicken Stock in a Crock Pot" and "Homemade Beef Broth in a Crock Pot" I love putting everything together before I go to sleep at night. I set the cooker on low and wake up in the morning to delicious smells. In the morning I turn off the crock pot, let the concoction cool down, throw out the scraps, strain the stock through cheese cloth, and place the stock in various sized jars for freezer storage (unless I have an immediate use). This is the perfect thing to make on a rainy day so that you will never have to buy store bought vegetable broth which is just not the same as homemade.





Homemade Vegetable Stock in a Crock Pot
1 10 oz bag of frozen mushrooms (I used Woodstock shiitake)
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic
1 small handful of peppercorns (about 15)
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, roughly chopped
1 leek cut in half
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 parsnip, roughly chopped
2 large swiss chard leaves
1 small handful of fresh parsley sprigs
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 quarts of water (I have a 5 quart crock pot)


1. Place the frozen mushrooms, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and peppercorns in the bottom of a crock pot.



2. Add the chopped vegetables to the mix.



3. Top with the swiss chard leaves, parsley sprigs, tomato paste, and water. Seal in the goodness and set to low for 8 hours.



4. After the vegetables simmer for 8 hours cool the stock completely.  Scoop out the vegetable scraps with tongs, pour the stock through cheese cloth and store jars. I freeze these jars until I need the stock.





5. Note: I have wasted several jars of tomato paste by not using them fast enough. Now I place 1 tablespoon dollops on a cookie sheet, place the cookie sheet in the freezer, then put the frozen tomato paste dollops in a container ready for my next use.





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