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Vegetable Stock

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Yield: Makes about 2.5 quarts.

Ingredients

2-3 oz mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (Note: Include onion skins, if desired, for a caramel color)
1 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb (optional)
Salt
1 large garlic cloves, smashed (can leave skins on)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Dry sauté mushrooms in a separate pan, until they are lightly browned and have given up some of their moisture.

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large stockpot. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and fennel (if using) and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Cook over high heat for several minutes, stirring only occasionally. Cook until the vegetables begin to brown.

Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to turn a rusty color. Add the rosemary, thyme, onion skins if using, peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley and an additional 2.5 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and then drop the heat until you just get a bare simmer. The surface of the stock should just barely be bubbling. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, remove all the big pieces of vegetable and mushroom. Discard or compost. Set up a large bowl or pot with a sieve set over it. Line the sieve with a paper towel and pour the stock through it. When you have about half the stock poured through, stop, let what's in the strainer filter through, and change the paper towel; the old one will be gunked up with debris. Filter the rest of the stock.

To store, pour into glass jars and refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze. If you freeze in glass jars, leave at least an inch and a half of headroom so the stock can expand without breaking the glass of the jar.

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/m/recipes/how_to_make_vegetable_stock/
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