November – Instant Vegetable Stock

Ok, this isn’t exactly instant. It is, however, pretty darn close. And, it is a heck of a lot better tasting than those commercial canned or boxed vegetable stocks. It doesn’t require hours of simmering on the stove, it doesn’t take up half your freezer, and you don’t have to defrost frozen blocks of stock. You will have quarts of stock available in the time it takes water to boil. Is it sounding more instant by the minute? I find that canned or boxed stock are completely bland and out of balance, they can ruin a good soup or stew recipe. If you have the time, by all means make magic mineral broth, it is amazing. But if you don’t, keep a jar of this “instant vegetable stock” in your fridge and a few extra jars in the freezer.

Take a look at all these good things in this stock…

Instant Vegetable Stock

Instant Vegetable Stock

What do you think?

So, here is the trick. In careful proportions you process the above ingredients to a fine granular paste, add sea salt as a preservative, and portion into small jars. To make stock, add a rounded teaspoon (or more for a stronger stock) into a cup of very hot water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Dada! Instant vegetable stock.

This is the time of year you need to have stock on hand for soups, stews, and gravy. Make a batch, it comes together quickly.

Instant Vegetable Stock Base

Instant Vegetable Stock Base

This makes about 4 8-oz jars. It halves well if you want to make less.

Ingredients, all measured after washing, trimming and/or peeling:

  • 9 oz leeks
  • 7 oz fennel
  • 7 oz carrots
  • 9 oz celery root
  • 2 oz sun-dried tomatoes (not the ones in oil)
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 1/2 oz Italian parsley
  • 3 1/2 oz cilantro
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fine sea salt


  1. A food processor is essential to this recipe. Simply put the ingredients into the processor and blend together until you have a fine, moist, granular paste.  My processor is not huge, so I made the stock base in batches, dumped each batch into a large bowl, and mixed it all together with the salt at the end.
  2. Spoon into clean jars with tight-fitting lids.
  3. Keep one jar in the fridge and put the others in the freezer. Use within 6 months.
  4. To use, stir about 1 teaspoon into a cup of very hot water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. If you need a clear broth, strain it after it sits.
    Vegetable Stock

    Vegetable Stock

    Instant Vegetable Stock Base

    Instant Vegetable Stock Base

    Note: This stock base is salty, you may not need to add any additional salt when using it. Consider using a teaspoon instead of salt in some recipes, it will enhance the over-all flavor of the dish.

I got this idea from the wonderful folks at Food52.

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