One of the things I found really challenges when introducing more and more vegetarian and vegan food to our diets was how the hell do I make a great, satisfying stock? Turns out it is FAR easier than a meat based!
The challenge is simply how to get those meaty, “brown” flavors from something that doesn’t have a shred of meat in it. Part of it is in fact browning the vegetables, and part is finding ingredients high on umami.
This rich stock is amazing in soups, as well as vegan or vegetarian gravies.
- Handful dried shiitake
- 1 kombu sheet
- Vegetable peel (carrots, celery root, parsnips, parsley root etc)
- 1/2 onion, chunked
- 1 celery stalk, chunked
- 2 bashed cloves of garlic
- A few sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried ajwain seeds)
- 4 bay leafs
- 1 tsp Promite (or Marmite)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
Place the kombu and shiitake in a lidded pot with 2 liters of water. Let sit for a few hours. This has now become a Dashi. Discard the kombu. Squeeze the shiitake well.
Sear off the shiitake, vegetable peel. When browning starts to form, toss in the onion chunks and celery, and let it take on some colour too.
Finally chuck in the garlic, thyme, bay leafs, soy sauce and pour the Dashi over. Bring to a boil, and simmer very gently for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Promite.
Your stock is now ready for use.
If it’s important to have a very clear stock for a soup or consommé, you may continue clarifying it, using either egg rafting, which will make it a vegetarian stock, or Agar clarification, which will make it Vegan.
The process for each method is described in our article 4 Methods for clarifying stock.