For a darker, richer stock, place the vegetables in a baking dish with a little water or oil and roast them in a 400F oven until lightly browned, making sure to add any browned bits that might stick to the pan. If you use oil to sweat the vegetables, cool and defat the stock as you would a meat stock; otherwise defatting is unnecessary, as the stock will be fat-free.

Add the oil to a stockpot and place the onion, leeks and garlic in the pot; sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they're wilted and tender. Alternately, instead of oil add about 1/2 cup of water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Strain the stock, pressing the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool and store properly. Yield: 1 gallon (3.75 liters).


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)