Vegetable Stock

A basic stock recipe that can be utilitsed in soups, stews and sauce and is suitable for most diets including: Diabetic, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Making your own stock is simple and a good way to use odd pieces of vegetable, particularly those that look a little ‘tired’. If you do not need the stock immediately freeze it for later use.

Knowing the ingredients of your stock will eliminate concerns about the suitability when catering for diets, for example, wheat-based products thicken many commercially made soups and stock cubes, making them inappropriate for Gluten Free diets. Similarly, commercially made soups frequently contain onion and/or garlic for flavouring, making them unsuitable for Fodmap diets; whereas when making your own soups the green tops of leeks or spring onions or chives are suitable and will provide a more subtle onion flavour.

The quantity and the intensity of the flavour of your stock will be dependent on the volume of water you add. I recommend you make a concentrated stock, adding only enough water to just cover the vegetables. This makes it more suitable for sauces; and it is easier to freeze in smaller portions, even in ice cubes tray for later use in sauces. For a more subtle flavour, add extra water in cooking.

Diets for which Vegetable Stock is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian, Vegan.


Preparation: 10 mins | Cook: 35 mins | Serves: variable (as a starter)

3 carrots
2 turnips
2 leeks, green leaves*
4 sticks of celery
2 fennel bulbs**
1/2 bunch parsley
1 bay leaf, fresh***
Other herbs****
6 peppercorns
2 lemon slices (optional)
1 litre (4 cups or 34 fl oz) water*****


RINSE and roughly chop the vegetables.
COMBINE the vegetables, herbs and peppercorns in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover.
BOIL and reduce the temperature to simmer for 30 minutes.
REMOVE from the heat.
USE the stock immediately for soup, after straining out the vegetables and herbs.
ALTERNATIVELY cool for use later. (Leave the vegetables and herbs in the stock until cool to impart more flavour.) Strain out the vegetable and herbs and chill or freeze.


– Use as the basis for soup, stew or sauce.
– Refrigerate or freeze any excess stock.


* Replace with 1 whole leek, not Fodmap diet.
** Fennel is sometimes not suitable for some individuals on a Fodmap diet.
*** Fresh bay leaves are preferable because they impart more flavour.
**** Add other herbs, eg thyme (particularly good in stock) or chervil. For an Asian flavoured stock add ginger and Tamari (Gluten Free).
***** Add water to just cover the vegetables, giving you a more intense flavour.


– For a Fish or Chicken Stock boil the bones with the vegetables and herbs.
– For Beef stock the bones must be roasted in a hot oven for thirty minutes before boiling with the vegetables and herbs.

Recipes for using this Vegetable Stock:

Steamed Fish with Basil
Parsnip Soup
Ginger Congee

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