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stock it to me how to make a great veggie stock 
by Yee-Fan Sun
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Though I'm not a vegetarian myself, I sometimes eat like one. Partly it's because I figure scaling back on meat consumption isn't a bad thing to aim for overall. But mostly, I just like veggies. They're tasty; they're good for you. They come in pretty colors and textures. And best of all, they don't leave my hands feeling all slimy and meaty-smelling after handling them. Chopping vegetables is infinitely more enjoyable a task than wrestling with a chicken carcass. Which is why despite the fact that I have few qualms about eating meat, veggie stock is as much a staple for me as chicken broth, and a great big pot of veggie stock is one of my favorite things to make.

Veggie stock can be used in just about any recipe calling for chicken stock. It's probably the fastest homemade stock you can whip up, taking just about an hour or so to cook, and the flavor is smooth and rich, with a good bit of sweetness. If your only experience with vegetarian broths thus far has been of the dried bouillon cube variety, you haven't tasted a proper veggie stock. The next time you find yourself with an hour and half or so to kill, try making a vegetable stock from scratch. Here's how…

basic vegetable stock
The key to a delicious vegetable stock is having a good variety of veggies to keep the flavors balanced. This version is one of my favorites, containing a few pretty standard stock vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, parsley) and some unexpected ones as well. Don't be scared off by some of the weirder-sounding ingredients -- the fruit adds a delicious sweetness to the finished broth, while the lightly anise-y fennel adds depth.

3 large onions or 4-5 small ones, washed but unpeeled
4 carrots, washed but unpeeled
4 stalks celery, leaves removed and washed
1 bulb of fennel, washed
handful of fresh parsley
1 golden delicious apple (or other sweet rather than tart apple), washed and cored
¼ cup raisins or currants
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon thyme
plenty of water

keep skedaddling for the illustrated how-to


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