Back to basics: Vegetable Stock

Good cooking starts with good basics, like homemade stocks.

While initially it may be quicker to use a stock cube or packet, once you make up a batch of full-flavoured stock you can portion and freeze it for super quick meals later.

Vegetable stock is a great base for soups, risottos, casseroles and many other dishes, and roasting the vegetables before boiling them adds further flavour and depth.

It’s also a great way to use up vegetable trimmings or slightly wilted specimens that may otherwise go in the bin; that’s why stocks were made in our grandparents no-waste days.

So use my recipe as a guide, leave something out if you don’t have it and add any other tasty root vegetables (such as turnips or parsnips) or a few mushrooms if that’s what’s left in the crisper. Once you see how simple it is, you’ll never buy stock again.

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Makes: about 1.5 litres


  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped (skin on)
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1.8 litres water
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • handful parsley stalks


Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place onion, carrot and celery on a baking tray, toss with a drizzle of oil and arrange in a single layer.

Place in the oven for 25 minutes or so, until lightly coloured.

Transfer to a large saucepan with the remaining ingredients, adding any juices from the tray and any bits that have stuck to the baking tray.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover almost completely with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

Set aside for 30 minutes then pour through a fine sieve lined with muslin or a clean damp cloth, discarding solids.

Set aside to cool then refrigerate or portion and freeze until needed.

You’ll find a print-friendly version of this recipe here as well as a step-by-step video.

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Also read: Roberta’s Hush Puppies

Roberta Muir
Roberta Muir
Roberta Muir loves making it easy for home cooks to explore new cuisines and ingredients and sharing her passion for cooking, eating, drinking and travelling. She’s a recipe writer, cooking teacher, and author of four cookbooks including the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook. Find more of her inspiration at
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