These stock recipes, each of which make enough for two average soup recipes, can be made ahead and frozen. For convenience, cook them overnight in the slow cooker. If your slow cooker is not large enough to make a full batch, you can halve the recipes.
Yield: Makes about 12 cups (3 l)
8 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
6 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs parsley
3 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme leaves
12 (3 l) cups water
Large (minimum 6 quart) slow cooker
1. In slow cooker stoneware, combine carrots, celery, onions, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt to taste, if using, and water. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Strain and discard solids. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze in an airtight container.
Enhanced Vegetable Stock
To enhance 8 cups (2 l) Basic Vegetable or prepared stock, combine in a large saucepan over medium heat with 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste, 1 tsp (5 ml) celery seeds, 1 tsp (5 ml) cracked black peppercorns, ½ tsp (2 ml) dried thyme leaves, 4 parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf and 1 cup (250 ml) white wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, then strain and discard solids.
To freeze stock, transfer to airtight containers in small, measured portions (2 cups/500 ml or 4 cups/1 l are handy), leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) headspace for expansion. Refrigerate until chilled, cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator or microwave before using.
We have not included a nutrient analysis for Basic Vegetable Stock because it contains virtually no nutrients. The advantage to making your own vegetable stock is to reduce your consumption of sodium. One cup (250 ml) of this stock with no salt added, contains 0 mg of sodium. The same quantity of a typical prepared stock likely contains more than 500 mg of sodium.