11/04/2011 02:12 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Vegetable Stock

To make your own flavorful vegetable stock, you need to start with a variety of vegetables and aromatics, says chef Robert Mullooly of The Culinary Institute of America. He peels an onion and a carrot, then roughly chops them and adds them to a stockpot. Next, he roughly chops fennel and celery and adds those, too. He smashes two cloves of garlic and adds them to the pot along with 3-4 peppercorns, parsley stems, and bay leaves. He pours in a gallon of water and an ounce of salt, then brings the liquid to a rolling boil. Once the stock is boiling, he reduces the heat and simmers the stock for 25 minutes, then strains it, and presto -- it's ready to use.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Rob Mullooly from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make a vegetable stock.

The first thing we want to do is prepare our vegetables. I have a variety: we've got some onion, we've got some celery, a carrot, some nice garlic, some fennel, bay leaves, and some black peppercorns and parsley stems. All these are going to give us a good, well-balanced vegetable stock.

So you're preparing the vegetables: peel the carrot, peel the onion, peel the garlic. The first thing we want to do is cut into our onion. We've got a nice onion here: go ahead and cut it in half, then cut some good medium-sized pieces. Then your celery: again, about the same size pieces. Rustic cuts! They don't have to be beautiful, we're just using them for the flavor. A little carrot: this is pretty standard right here, you take the core off the carrot, the root, and then slice this into medium-sized pieces. The vegetable stock is only going to cook for about twenty-five minutes and then we're going to strain it through. Chop the fennel, too, and then what I like to do with the garlic is just smash the bulb: with the side of your knife, just give a little pressure here, because you want to be able to extract the liquid; you don't want to just add whole cloves of garlic to it.

I'm going to add my vegetables right to my pot, and I want to add my aromatics: two bay leaves, three or four peppercorns - don't go too heavy on the peppercorns - and we've got some nice parsley stems here as well. They all go right inside the pot, and then we start with cold water: we're using one gallon of cold water for these vegetables, and then one ounce of salt. You want to add a little salt to help bring out the flavor a little bit. This all gets started nice and cold, and then we go ahead and turn the heat on.

We've brought this up to a rolling boil, and we want to let it come down to a simmer, and simmer it for twenty-five minutes. Then we're going to strain it, and cool it. I can turn my heat off at this point and strain right through a strainer - to catch all the vegetables - into my bowl. We're looking for a neutral flavor in the vegetable stock, and also a neutral color. It smells fantastic! And there's your vegetable stock.