Surprisingly easy to make, this stock is built on basic vegetables that are often already on hand (carrots, onion, leeks), plus a few herbs.
Cook leeks, carrots, onion, and garlic, covered, stirring occasionally, in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add water, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Raise heat to high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer; discard solids.