Sometimes you need a homemade stock—and fast!
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Vegans and vegetarians, rejoice! Making vegetable stock is super easy and can be done fast, too. While making chicken stock or meat stock takes a while—you'll need to leave the stockpot simmering for a couple of hours—a vegetable stock does not require prolonged cooking. Another bonus: Making your own vegetable stock is also more affordable and healthier than store-bought vegetable stock. And the possibilities are endless. Here, we share our guidelines for making a quick vegetable stock.

You can extract major flavor from produce like onions, carrots, broccoli, celery, and leeks (anything in the crisper, really, even if it's seen fresher days) in a fraction of the time it takes to simmer bones for meat broths. If you don't have enough vegetables to make stock today, put leftover or wilted vegetables you aren't going to use into a zip-top bag and store in the freezer, adding more to it until you have enough for making a vegetable stock.

vegetables on a wood cutting board
Credit: Christopher Testani

Our first tip for speedy vegetable stock is to start by pulsing the vegetables in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Next, fill a saucepan with about twice as much water as you have vegetables before bringing the water to a boil. Then, stir in the finely chopped vegetables. Vegetarians can also add a hard-cheese rind such as Parmigiano- Reggiano, which will impart umami. Turn the heat off, cover the pot, let the stock steep for just five minutes, and strain.

Use the stock as a base for spring-time risottos and soups, to braise greens, or to cook grains. Once it's cooled, it will keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge, or up to six months in the freezer.

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