Making a good vegetable stock is as simple as it gets. The vegetables below are a suggestion, but note that they include the veggie Trinity found in most soup flavor bases: onions, carrots and... celery. When picking your stock veggies, go easy on any that could overpower the overall flavor, like celeriac or rutabaga, or that could discolor the stock, like beets. Other than that, throw in any vegetables that you like, cover them with water, add a few herbs and simmer. That’s it!
Stud each onion half with two cloves. Cut the white part of the trimmed leeks into three equal lengths, then in half lengthwise. Set aside. Cut the tender parts off the dark leek tops into 3-inch lengths.
In a 7-quart pot, cover the leeks, onions, carrots, turnips, potatoes, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley and black peppercorns with enough water to completely cover the vegetables by an inch or so.
Cover and turn the heat down to low. Gently simmer the vegetables for 1 hour.
Taste for salt and adjust the seasoning. Strain the stock and let cool. Discard the stock vegetables. Use immediately or bag and freeze.
For extra flavor, add a small handful of dried shitake mushrooms.
Bag and freeze in quart size bags for later use in soups, stir fries and stews etc.
This recipe makes around 5 quarts of stock. Most recipes call for 1-quart (or 4 cups) which is typically the amount sold in commercially boxed stocks and broths.