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Which vegetables and/or fresh herbs should be used when making vegetable stock?

Are there any vegetables/herbs that should be avoided?

Can parts of vegetables that would otherwise be discarded be included (eg. potato peel, carrot tops, onion skins)?

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2 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Typically veggies are onions, carrots, celery, leeks, garlic, shallots, etc. Throw in some peppercorns, also, and a Bouquet garni. You can add most other veggies, too, and mushrooms, but avoid adding things that give a strong (bad) flavour after cooked for a long time (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.).

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Right... you don't want anything in the crucifer family, too sulfurous. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 8 '10 at 22:43
    
is crucifer family the same as what a gardener would call brassicas? –  Tea Drinker Aug 9 '10 at 20:46
    
Tea Drinker: Yes. –  Michael Hoffman Oct 13 '11 at 1:44
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I agree with Kevin.

Also, I highly recommend "Ratio" by Michael Ruhlman. Part 2 of that book is about stocks (broths)...and has an excellent section on vegetable stocks. (There is a technical difference between broths and stocks, but I don't think it matters in this case.)

Stocks are great! Stocks can make the difference between a great meal and a merely good meal.

"Can parts of vegetables that would otherwise be discarded be included (eg. potato peel, carrot tops, onion skins)?"

Yes, as long as they are clean and fresh. Personally I'm not fond of adding potato peels.

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So, should it really be vegetable "stock" instead of "broth" (because there are no bones in it)? –  SarahVV Aug 9 '10 at 0:52
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From Michael Ruhlman's, "The Elements of Cooking". "Broths (bouillons) are distinguished from stocks in that a broth is intended to be served as is whereas a stock is the foundation for other preparations." p.74 So, you can have either vegetable stock or vegetable broth. Neither one will have bones. There is actually another post on the site discussing the differences between stock and broth. –  wdypdx22 Aug 9 '10 at 2:24
    
Thanks - I'll look for the other post! –  SarahVV Aug 9 '10 at 4:59
    
If you want to get into the whole issue of stocks vs broths, there is a lot of info over on wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broth en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_(food) –  wdypdx22 Aug 9 '10 at 21:18
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I would disagree with the OP in that I wouldnt add potato peel as it can make your stock very cloudy - though I suspect it depends on the type of potato ( I guess floury types would be worse) –  NBenatar Sep 15 '10 at 13:17
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