Thursday, 31 October 2013

Homegrown vegetable stock mix

My 4 jars of vegetable stock mix
When making soups, stews, sauces etc. it is handy to be able to add a bit of stock to add more flavour. The stock cubes you buy in the shops are full of additives and preservatives, and it can be time consuming to make your own stock from scratch. This is where vegetable stock mix comes in. I first read about it in the "River Cottage Preserves Handbook." You use it pretty much the same way you would a stock cube, just add 2tsp of the mix to a pint of boiling water and you have a full flavoured vegetable stock.

Making the mix is very straightforward once you have a food processor or a blender. The ingredients for this mix are pretty flexible. I have chosen these because they are the vegetables we grew this year and I wanted to make it as homegrown as possible. You can use whatever vegetables are in season, on special in the supermarker or you have lying in the fridge. Just try to keep the veg to salt ratio about the same and you should be fine. The salt preserves the vegetables to stop them going off so if you increase the amount of veg increase the amount of salt proportionately. For my mix I used:

Some of my veg for the mix
250g of leek
200g of onion
200g of carrot
200g of turnip
100g of runner beans
A few sun dried tomatoes
A few cloves of garlic
A bunch of parsley, thyme and sage
250g of salt

The method for this recipe is simple. Roughly chop your selection of veg and put it into a food processor. Blend the veg until it is a grainy paste like consistency. I put in the veg in stages because it wouldn't all fit in at once.

From this

To this

Then add the salt and herbs to the mix and blend again until all thoroughly mixed and blended together. Then put this mix into sterilised jars. This should keep for 6 months in a cool dry place. I normally keep a one jar in the fridge and store the others at the back of the press somewhere. When using the mix, do so before seasoning, then taste the soup or sauce after adding it because there is a lot of salt in the mix and you usually don't need to season it any further.

This recipe is very easy to do and you probably only need to do it twice or three times a year to keep yourself in homemade stock that isn't full of artificial flavours and preservatives.


  1. Do you have to process this & seal your jars?

    1. No need to process them, just pop a vinegar proof lid on the salt should protect them. I am not overly familiar with hot water canning but as this is designed to be used within 6 months the salt is enough to keep it fresh. Maybe with other preserving methods it could keep for longer but I don't know enough about that to give any advice