Upgrade your soup recipe repertoire by starting with homemade Vegetable Stock rather than store-bought. After just 15 minutes of prep time, this easy Vegetable Stock recipe practically cooks itself!

Labeled vegetable stock in mason jars.

Humble root vegetables, mushrooms, and a seemingly random array of spice cabinet staples join forces to great magic in this easy homemade Vegetable Stock recipe.

True, you can buy vegetable stock by the can or carton at the store, but there’s something pretty magical about the flavor that results from fresh vegetables, cooked from scratch right in your own kitchen. Plus, you can control how much or little salt you add and get to benefit from the amazing aromas as this easy Vegetable Stock recipe simmers away on your stovetop!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Vegetable Stock Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for vegetable stock.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Vegetables: Some cooks save old vegetable trimmings to add to their broth. I prefer to start with new, fresh vegetables because I think the broth will taste better. So yes, we peel the carrots, and save your vegetable scraps for composting!
  • Herbs and spices: A sachet is a fancy term for parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and optionally, garlic or cloves, tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. A tea ball or a loose leaf tea bag can also do the job nicely. Using some sort of packet makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the broth later. Alternatively, you can simply add everything straight to the pot since you strain the broth at the end anyway.
  • Cold water: Key word: “cold.” This helps keep the broth clear, not cloudy. The amount of water used and the length of simmering time helps determine the intensity of the final product.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over high heat, add onion, carrots, celery, parsnips, turnip, mushrooms, salt, and 4 cups cold water and bring to a boil. If desired, tie parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns to make a sachet or add loosely to the pot.
Raw chopped vegetables submerged in water in a silver pot.
  1. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2 hours.
Boiling vegetables in stock in a silver pot.
  1. Return to a boil over medium-high heat, skim foam off the top, then reduce heat to low.
Someone stirring boiling vegetables and their stock in a silver pot with a slotted spoon.
  1. Add remaining 2 cups water and continue reducing over medium heat for 1 hour longer.
Vegetable stock being made in a Dutch oven.
  1. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pressing down on the solids to remove as much liquid as possible. Season to taste with salt. Place in a large bowl and chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.
Someone scooping boiled vegetables out of a colander that is resting in a clear bowl filled with vegetable stock.
  1. Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (leaving at least 1/2-inch for expansion), label, and freeze. Or, refrigerate and use within 4 days.
Labeled vegetable stock in mason jars.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Vegetable Stock recipe makes eight 1-cup servings (64 ounces), the equivalent of two of those large cartons of stock or a little more than four 14 1/2-ounce cans of stock.
  • Storage: Store this Homemade Vegetable Stock recipe in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
  • Freezing: Divide the stock into freezer-safe containers (I like to use 16-ounce glass jars) and leave 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Label and date, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Put the stock to stellar use: Vegetable stock is one of my go-to ingredients for so much more than soup. Try incorporating it into Greek Roasted Potatoes, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Pesto Cavatappi, or Pasta Primavera. Or, of course, your favorite soup or stew recipe (Minestrone pictured below).
Minestrone soup in a white bowl with a sliver spoon.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between broth and stock?

These terms are often used interchangeable, but technically, stock is made with just bones (in the case of chicken or turkey, for example), shells (such as shrimp, lobster, or crab), or vegetables, while broth is made with both the bones and the meat.

What if I don’t have any fresh vegetables handy?

Many cooks save their scraps in a large zip-top bag in the freezer to preserve them for making vegetable stock at a later date once they have enough. I prefer the flavor with fresh vegetables, but feel free to try this recipe with both to determine your favorite method.

What other stocks and broths can I make from scratch?

All sorts of ingredients can be transformed into either stock or broth to use as a base of soups and other recipes. Discover How to Make Chicken Broth, How to Make Turkey Broth, and How to Make Shrimp Stock.

Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans

This delicious, hearty Sweet Potato Chili is loaded with black beans, vegetables, and all the classic spices. It also freezes well and makes a great meal prep option.

1 hour 30 minutes
View Recipe

More cozy soup recipes

Labeled vegetable stock in mason jars.

Vegetable Stock

Upgrade your soup recipe repertoire by starting with homemade Vegetable Stock rather than store-bought. After just 15 minutes of prep time, this easy Vegetable Stock recipe practically cooks itself!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 38

Ingredients 

  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped (see note 1)
  • 1 large carrot peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs coarsely chopped
  • 1 large parsnip peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium turnip peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms quartered
  • 6 quarts water cold, divided (see note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For the sachet (see note 3):

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley stems
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

Instructions 

  • In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over high heat, add onion, carrots, celery, parsnips, turnip, mushrooms, salt, and 4 cups cold water and bring to a boil. If desired, tie parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns to make a sachet or add loosely to the pot.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2 hours. Return to a boil over medium-high heat, skim foam off the top, then reduce heat to low. Add remaining 2 cups water and continue reducing over medium heat for 1 hour longer.
  • Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pressing down on the solids to remove as much liquid as possible. Season to taste with salt. Place in a large bowl and chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (leaving at least 1/2-inch for expansion), label, and freeze. Or, refrigerate and use within 4 days.

Notes

  1. Vegetables: Some cooks save old vegetable trimmings to add to their broth. I prefer to start with new, fresh vegetables because I think the broth will taste better. So yes, we peel the carrots, and save your vegetable scraps for composting!
  2. Cold water: Key word: “cold.” This helps keep the broth clear, not cloudy. The amount of water used and the length of simmering time helps determine the intensity of the final product.
  3. Herbs and spices: A sachet is a fancy term for parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and optionally, garlic or cloves, tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. A tea ball or a loose leaf tea bag can also do the job nicely. Using some sort of packet makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the broth later. Alternatively, you can simply add everything straight to the pot since you strain the broth at the end anyway.
  4. Yield: This Vegetable Stock recipe makes eight 1-cup servings (64 ounces), the equivalent of two of those large cartons of stock or a little more than four 14 1/2-ounce cans of stock.
  5. Storage: Store this Homemade Vegetable Stock recipe in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
  6. Freezing: Divide the stock into freezer-safe containers (I like to use 16-ounce glass jars) and leave 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Label and date, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 38kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 60mgPotassium: 226mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2135IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 1mg
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