Roasting vegetables enhances their flavors and helps to create a richly flavored vegetable stock.
6 stalks celery and leaves, stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds sweet onions, cut into chunks
1 lb. carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 lb. parsnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound tomatoes, cored
1/2 pound turnips, cubed
5 whole cloves garlic
1 lb. mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
6 whole black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 gallon cold, fresh water
Pinch of sea salt*
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Clean celery and cut stalks (including leaves) into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
Toss onions, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, turnips. garlic and mushrooms with olive oil.
Place vegetables in a roasting pan and roast, stirring the vegetables every 15 minutes. Cook until the vegetables have browned and the onions start to caramelize, about 45 minutes.
In a large stockpot, put the browned vegetables, celery, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns, Italian parsley and water. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered until stock is reduced by half. (Reducing the stock will intensify the flavor of the stock.)
Place stockpot in cool water bath. Stir occasionally until liquid is tepid.
Pour stock through a fine mesh trainer set over a large bowl or pot. Stock may be stored in refrigerator for up to three days, or frozen up to three months.
*Stock may be lightly seasoned with salt or not. Since stocks are used most often for soups and other dishes, some prefer to leave out the salt until the stock is used in the final dish. If you choose to season with salt, season the stock AFTER it has been reduced.