Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gluten Free Quick and Easy Concentrated Veggie Stock


What, you might well ask, is that jar of disgusting khaki paste in the photograph?

Is it some sort of slop fed to babies, or the results that come out several hours later? Is it a particularly ugly parsley pesto? Is it a raw vegan punishment for those who ate too much meat in a previous life?

No, my friends, it is none of these things. Instead, it is pure genius: concentrated veggie stock.

I often make my own liquid veggie stock, a golden brew simmered for hours and stored in the freezer in cup-sized portions for later use. But there are times when I need flavour without liquid; and that’s when I turn to this concentrated stock.

It has none of the metallic overtones of commercial veggie stocks, none of the gluten, and no MSG. It’s just veggies and herbs cooked to a paste and preserved with a bucket of salt. Start with a tablespoon or so, added to curries, soups or stews, then add more if needed.

Thanks to Mandi who told me about it, and her brother Simon who had the flash of pure genius. I should add that they both put a tomato in their stock, but at this time of the year, when tomatoes come from Whoop-Whoop, I leave it out.

Gluten Free Quick and Easy Concentrated Veggie Stock

- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 or 5 sticks of celery, leaves and all, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 5 mushrooms, roughly chopped
- a big bunch of parsley, including the smaller stems, roughly chopped
- an inch or so of rosemary, needles stripped from the stem
- a sprig of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- olive oil
- 100g sea salt

Place all the veggies and herbs into a food processor or blender. Pulse-chop until it looks like pesto.

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Scrape the whizzed veggies into the pan, and bring to a slow boil. Let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or longer if you like (the longer you cook it, the deeper the flavour). Stir regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick. When it no longer smells like raw carrot juice and most of the liquid has evaporated, add the salt.

Cook for a few more minutes, stirring constantly, until the salt has dissolved.

Scrape it into a jar, and store it in your fridge. It keeps for weeks. Use a tablespoon or so where you would otherwise use a stock cube.

(Miss Cleverpants (ie me) thought she’d turn it into stock cubes via an ice cube tray, but the salt prevents it from freezing. So keep it in a jar in the fridge as instructed. The salt will preserve it.)

(Backyard: parsley, rosemary, thyme, bay. Melbourne outskirts: celery, garlic, mushrooms. Victoria: olive oil, salt. Somewhere in Australia: onion, carrots.)


  1. Never seen this before - great idea. But you're right about it looking a bit yerk.

  2. looks yerk, but is enough flavour to get my 3 year old to demolish three bowls of lentil soup - hurrah!