Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock With Robust And Savory Ingredients

Unlock the secret to mouthwatering meals with our Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock, a rich and savory elixir that’s the perfect base for any soup or stew. This golden broth is crafted from a medley of fresh, wholesome vegetables, simmered to perfection in a slow cooker until their flavors meld into a harmonious blend of earthy goodness. With its depth and complexity, this stock is a testament to the beauty of simplicity, proving that sometimes, the best things in life are worth the wait.

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Slow cooker vegetable stock is a flavorful broth made by slow-cooking vegetables and herbs, often in water, over a long period. The low and slow process allows for deep extraction of flavors from the vegetables, creating a robust and savory stock.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

This stock can be made from a wide variety of vegetables. Common ingredients often include onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, but it can also be a great way to use up leftover or wilting vegetables in your fridge. Many people also like adding herbs and spices, such as bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, or parsley, to enhance the flavor.

What Is Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock?

Slow cooker vegetable stock is a savory broth made by simmering vegetables and herbs in water for several hours in a slow cooker. It’s typically made from onions, carrots, celery, and other leftover veggies, supplemented with herbs and spices. 

This method extracts deep flavors, creating a robust, versatile base for soups, stews, and sauces. It’s an easy, waste-reducing approach that avoids store-bought stocks’ high salt and preservatives, yielding a healthier, homemade alternative.

The History Of Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

While the concept of vegetable stock traces back to ancient times when cooks utilized every part of their food, the advent of slow cookers in the 1970s gave rise to a new method of preparing it. 

This appliance allowed for long, unattended simmering, maximizing flavor extraction from the vegetables and herbs. Slow cooker vegetable stock was initially popular among vegetarians and vegans, but it quickly gained widespread appeal. 

It became an easy way to use leftover or wilting veggies, reducing food waste. Today, it’s a staple in many kitchens, prized for its homemade, healthy, and flavorful qualities.

Interesting Facts About Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

  • Nutrient Retention: Cooking stock in a slow cooker allows for better nutrient retention as compared to high-heat methods. The low and slow cooking process helps extract the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.
  • Flavor Booster: Slow cooking enables the flavors to develop fully and meld together, creating a depth of flavor that’s difficult to achieve with faster cooking methods. It’s a secret weapon for many chefs to boost the flavor of various dishes.
  • Versatile Ingredient: Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock is a highly versatile ingredient. It can be used in many different types of cuisines and dishes, from soups and stews to sauces, risottos, and more.
  • Waste Reduction: Making vegetable stock is an excellent way to reduce food waste. You can use the scraps or ends of vegetables, like onion skins, carrot peels, and celery leaves, which are usually thrown away.
  • Ancient Cooking Method: The method of making stock by simmering bones or vegetables in water dates back thousands of years and is a staple in many traditional cuisines around the world.
  • Health and Wellness: Vegetable stock is not just for flavor, it’s also packed with nutrients. It’s a hydrating and nourishing option, especially when you’re not feeling well or during colder months. It’s also a base for many healing soups in traditional medicine.
  • Economical Cooking: Making your own vegetable stock can be a great way to save money. Instead of buying canned or boxed stocks, you can make your own using leftovers or low-cost vegetables and freeze them for future use.

Ingredients List 

IngredientQuantity
Stuffing mushrooms or Portobello caps8 mushrooms or 3 caps
Celery stalks3 stalks
Medium carrots3 carrots
Parsnips2 parsnips
Large leeks (white part only)3 leeks
Large tomato1 tomato
Whole cloves garlic6 cloves
Olive oil4 tsp
Kosher saltA pinch + 1/2 tsp
Fresh black pepperA pinch + 1/4 tsp
Dried thyme leaf1/4 tsp
Large bay leaf1 leaf
Mushroom powder1/2 tsp
Tomato powder or Tomato paste1/2 tsp or 1 tsp

Ingredient Tips 

  • Mushrooms: Use fresh mushrooms for the best flavor. Stuffing mushrooms have a nice earthy flavor, but portobellos also work great. If you can’t find either, white button mushrooms can be used.
  • Vegetables: When preparing the vegetables, there’s no need to peel them (except parsnips) as the peels add extra flavor. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly.
  • Leeks: Leeks can harbor grit, so it’s important to wash them well. Slice down the length of the leek, keeping the base intact, then fan out under running water.
  • Tomato: Using fresh ripe tomatoes will lend a rich flavor to your stock. If tomatoes are not in season, canned tomatoes can be used as a substitute.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a nice depth to your vegetable stock. Whole cloves are used here for a subtle flavor, but if you like a stronger garlic taste, you can crush or mince them.
  • Spices: Adjust the spices as per your preference. For a different flavor profile, consider adding spices like whole peppercorns, coriander seeds, or a pinch of turmeric.
  • Mushroom and Tomato Powder: These powders intensify the umami flavor. They are optional but recommended. If not available, you can substitute with a bit of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for that umami kick.
  • Salt and Pepper: The quantity mentioned is a guideline. Adjust according to your dietary needs and flavor preference. Remember, you can always add more later but you can’t take it out once it’s added.
  • Olive Oil: A good quality extra virgin olive oil can make a difference in the flavor of your stock.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

The beauty of a homemade vegetable stock is that it’s naturally versatile and adaptable to many dietary preferences. Here’s how you can ensure your stock fits into various dietary needs:

  • Keto: This recipe is already keto-friendly as it is low in carbs. For added nutrition, you can add more non-starchy vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach.
  • Paleo: Again, this vegetable stock is naturally Paleo-friendly. Consider adding in some different Paleo-friendly vegetables like turnips or sweet potatoes to vary the flavor.
  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is gluten-free. Just ensure that any additional ingredients or spices you use, such as soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, are certified gluten-free.
  • Whole30: The vegetable stock recipe is Whole30-compliant as it contains no sugar, grains, dairy, or legumes. If you want to enrich the flavor while on Whole30, consider adding in more herbs like rosemary or cilantro.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan: As it stands, this is a vegan and vegetarian recipe. For additional flavor, veggies like bell peppers, sweet potatoes, or even some hot peppers for spice could be included. You could also add different herbs and spices to switch up the taste.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

Recipe Directions

  • Place all the ingredients, including water, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and salt, into the slow cooker.
  • Give everything a good stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Cover the slow cooker with its lid and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours. This slow cooking process will allow the flavors to develop and create a flavorful vegetable stock.
  • After the cooking time is up, carefully strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large bowl or container. This will remove all the vegetable solids, leaving you with a clear and flavorful vegetable stock.
  • Let the vegetable stock cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags for storage. You can refrigerate the stock for up to 5 days or freeze it for several months.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings For The Recipe

Since we’re talking about a vegetable stock, it’s not typically used as a standalone soup but as a flavorful base for other soups and dishes. Therefore, variations, add-ons, and toppings will depend on the specific recipe for which you’re using the stock. 

However, here are a few ways you could vary or enhance the stock itself:

Variations

  • Herbs: Experiment with different combinations of fresh or dried herbs, such as rosemary, sage, cilantro, or parsley.
  • Spices: Add warming spices like turmeric, paprika, or cayenne pepper for a different flavor profile.
  • Vegetables: Consider other vegetables like turnips, squash, bell peppers, or fresh tomatoes for variety.

Add-Ons

  • Wine: Add a splash of white or red wine for added depth of flavor. Just make sure to cook it long enough for the alcohol to evaporate.
  • Citrus: A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice at the end of cooking can brighten up the flavors.
  • Umami Boosters: Enhance the savory depth of the stock with a splash of tamari (gluten-free), soy sauce, or a dab of miso paste.

Toppings

  • Fresh Herbs: Sprinkling fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill can add new flavor and visual appeal.
  • Seeds and Nuts: Toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or chopped nuts can provide a nice crunchy contrast.
  • Dairy or Non-Dairy Cream: A swirl of cream, sour cream, or a non-dairy alternative can add a touch of richness to a soup made with this stock.
  • Croutons or Toasted Bread: These can add a nice texture contrast in soups.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe like this vegetable stock is relatively straightforward. The most important aspect is keeping the ratio of water to vegetables consistent.

To scale up

you’ll want to increase the quantity of vegetables and water proportionally. For example, if you’re going to double the recipe, use twice as many vegetables and twice as much water. 

The spices should also be increased proportionally, but these can be adjusted to taste, so you may want to add a bit less at first and adjust as needed. Cooking time in the slow cooker might need to be increased slightly depending on how much you scale up.

To scale down

you would halve (or reduce by your desired amount) the number of vegetables, water volume, and spices. The cooking time would remain the same as the slow, gentle simmering helps extract all the flavors.

What Is Used For Garnishing Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock?

As mentioned earlier, vegetable stock is typically not consumed on its own like a soup but used as a base for other dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, and risottos. Therefore, garnishes largely depend on the final dish prepared using vegetable stock.

However, if you were to use this vegetable stock as a base for a simple vegetable soup, here are some garnishing options:

  • Fresh herbs: Chopped fresh parsley, dill, or basil would add a pop of color and fresh flavor.
  • Cream or Yogurt: A swirl of cream or a dollop of yogurt can add a touch of richness and a nice visual contrast. You could use a dairy-free alternative for vegan options.
  • Seeds or Nuts: A sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or chopped nuts could provide a nice texture contrast.
  • Croutons: These can be a delightful addition, adding crunch and a rustic charm to your soup.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of grated parmesan, pecorino, or even vegan cheese could add a delicious finishing touch to a vegetable soup.
  • Drizzle of oil: A drizzle of good quality olive or flavored oils like truffle or chili oil can enhance the soup’s overall flavor.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

Can I Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

This recipe is designed for a slow cooker, which allows the flavors to develop and intensify over a longer cooking time. Here are the steps to make the Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock:

Slow Cooker

  • Place all roasted vegetables into your slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (thyme, bay leaf, mushroom powder, tomato powder or paste, salt, and pepper).
  • Cover the vegetables with 5 cups of filtered or bottled water.
  • Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove and discard the vegetables.
  • Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage container.

Instant Pot

You can certainly do so if you’d like to use an Instant Pot. The steps are similar, but the cooking time will significantly reduce due to the pressure cooking function. Here’s a simple adaptation for the Instant Pot:

  • Place all roasted vegetables into your Instant Pot.
  • Add the remaining ingredients as above.
  • Add 5 cups of filtered or bottled water.
  • Close the lid and set the valve to “sealing.” Select Manual or Pressure Cook and set the cooking time to 15 minutes on high pressure.
  • When the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage container.

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Using store-bought vegetable broth or making your own is completely up to your personal preference, time availability, and dietary needs.

The store-bought broth is a great option when you’re in a pinch and need to save time. They’re readily available and easy to use. However, reading the label is important as some can be high in sodium and contain additives or preservatives. 

Various options are available, including organic, low-sodium, and gluten-free versions.

On the other hand, making your own vegetable stock like this Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock provides a few advantages:

  • Flavor: Homemade stock generally has a fresher, deeper flavor compared to store-bought versions. You can also adjust the flavors according to your liking.
  • Control over ingredients: You know exactly what goes into your stock — no hidden preservatives or additives. You can also make sure it’s suitable for any dietary restrictions you might have.
  • Economical and Eco-friendly: It can be cheaper to make your own stock, especially if you’re using scraps of vegetables you would otherwise discard. It’s also a great way to reduce food waste.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

As we’re discussing vegetable stock, we focus on extracting flavors from vegetables, herbs, and spices. However, if you’d like to enhance or modify this recipe into a meat, fish, or pasta broth or soup, here are a few suggestions:

  • Meat: You can certainly add meat (like chicken, beef, or pork bones) to make a more robust meat broth. Roasting the bones first would lend a deeper flavor to the stock.
  • Fish: For a seafood twist, you could add fish bones or shells from shellfish. Remember, fish stocks usually require less cooking time compared to vegetable or meat stocks.
  • Pasta: Pasta wouldn’t be added during the stock-making process, but you could definitely use this vegetable stock as a base for pasta soup. Simply cook your pasta in the stock, along with any other ingredients, until it’s al dente.
  • Different Vegetables: You can experiment with different types of vegetables. Consider squash, bell peppers, or even beetroot for a unique twist. Remember that some vegetables, like beets, have strong flavors that can overpower the stock.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

Success Tips-Tips And Tricks For The Recipe

Here are some tips and tricks for making a successful Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock:

Prepping Tips

Use fresh, high-quality vegetables: Your vegetables’ quality will significantly impact your stock’s taste. Using fresh ingredients will result in a fresher, richer flavor.

  • Don’t peel your veggies: Many vegetables, like carrots and onions, have lots of flavor in their peels. Plus, leaving the peels on saves prep time.
  • Chop vegetables into large pieces: You don’t need to chop your veggies finely. Keeping them in larger pieces allows them to withstand the long cooking time without turning to mush.
  • Roasting is key: Roasting the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker can give the stock a deeper flavor. It’s an extra step, but it can make a big difference in the end result.

Cooking Tips

  • Don’t rush the cooking time: Slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to making stock. The longer the vegetables simmer, the more flavor they’ll impart to the stock.
  • Don’t overfill your slow cooker: Be careful to fill your slow cooker. The water should cover the ingredients, but the water level should be at least an inch below the top of the cooker to prevent it from overflowing.
  • Strain carefully: Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure a clear, clean-tasting stock. If you want it even clearer, you can strain it a second time through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.
  • Season last: Add salt and pepper at the end of the cooking process. If you season it at the beginning, the stock can become too salty as the water reduces.
  • Cool before storing: If you’re not using the stock immediately, allow it to cool before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. This will prevent it from raising the temperature of your fridge or freezer and also stop the stock from becoming cloudy.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

Nutritional Values

Discover the nutritional value of slow cooker vegetable stock. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this homemade broth offers a healthy and flavorful addition to your meals.

What Are The Total Calories In Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock?

Determining the exact calorie count in homemade vegetable stock can be tricky because it can vary based on the types and quantities of vegetables used and the amount of oil or any other ingredients added. 

Additionally, since you’re straining and discarding the solids, only some of the calories from the vegetables and fat will end up in the finished stock.

As a general reference, a cup of homemade vegetable stock can range from 15-30 calories. Commercially prepared vegetable broths, for comparison, often contain about 20-30 calories per cup. 

If you’re keeping track of calories for dietary purposes, use a similar range, bearing in mind that this is a rough estimate, and the actual calorie content might be slightly lower or higher depending on the specific ingredients used.

Dietary Restrictions For Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

The Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock recipe, as outlined above, is generally suitable for most dietary restrictions as it is:

  • Vegetarian and Vegan: The recipe is made solely from vegetables and does not contain any meat or dairy products.
  • Gluten-free: There are no gluten-containing ingredients in the vegetable stock recipe.
  • Nut-free: There are no nuts used in this recipe, making it suitable for those with nut allergies or intolerances.
  • Soy-free: No soy products are used in this recipe.
  • Paleo and Whole30: The recipe fits within the guidelines of Paleo and Whole30 diets, as it does not contain any legumes, grains, or dairy.
  • Keto/Low Carb: This recipe is also low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for a ketogenic diet. However, the exact carb count can vary depending on the specific vegetables used.

Health Benefits Of Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock is a nutrient-rich addition to any diet, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the various vegetables used. Here are some of its health benefits:

  • Low in Calories, High in Nutrients: The vegetable stock is low in calories yet delivers a significant nutritional punch, thanks to the variety of vegetables used.
  • Hydrating: Stocks and broths are an excellent source of hydration. If you’re sick or dehydrated, consuming broth can help replenish fluids and electrolytes.
  • Digestion: Vegetable stocks are generally easy on the digestive system and can be a comforting and nourishing food when you’re feeling unwell.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Depending on the vegetables used, stocks can be a good source of various antioxidants, which help fight oxidative stress in the body.
  • Boosts Immune System: A hearty vegetable stock can help boost the immune system, particularly if you include immune-boosting ingredients like garlic and onions.
  • Reduces Waste: Homemade vegetable stock is a great way to use up vegetable scraps and reduce food waste, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.

Nutrition Table 

Slow Cooker Vegetable Nutrition Table

How Can I Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock Lower In Sodium? 

Making your own Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock at home already gives you control over the amount of sodium in your recipe, compared to store-bought versions, which can be high in salt. However, here are some tips to make it even lower in sodium:

  • Don’t Add Salt: The simplest way to control the sodium level is not to add salt during the preparation. The natural flavors of the vegetables, herbs, and spices can give your stock plenty of flavor.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh vegetables and herbs whenever possible. Canned or pre-packaged vegetables can sometimes contain added salt.
  • Avoid High-Sodium Additives: Certain ingredients, like some broths or bouillons, can contain a lot of added sodium. Always check the labels and opt for low-sodium versions if available.
  • Season with Herbs and Spices: Enhance the flavor with a variety of herbs and spices instead of relying on salt. Ingredients like garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns can add depth and complexity to your stock without adding sodium.
  • Taste and Adjust: If you find your stock lacking in flavor without the added salt, try adding a splash of vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Acidic ingredients can help brighten the flavors and make them more pronounced.

How Can I Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock Lower In Sugar?

Making Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock, as outlined in the recipe above, typically doesn’t require any added sugars. The stock’s sweetness usually comes naturally from the vegetables, especially from ones like carrots and onions. 

However, if you’re trying to reduce sugar levels even further, consider the following tips:

  • Choose Low-Sugar Vegetables: Opt for vegetables that are naturally lower in sugar. For instance, you might use less sweet vegetables like carrots and more or less sweet ones like celery or zucchini.
  • Avoid Canned Vegetables: If you use canned vegetables, make sure they’re not canned in syrup or have any added sugars.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices are best for a low-sugar stock.
  • Monitor Your Ingredients: Check the labels of any store-bought ingredients you plan to use, like tomato paste, to ensure they don’t contain added sugars.
vegetable soup

How To Serve The Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock Best?

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock is an incredibly versatile ingredient and can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few serving suggestions:

  • Soup Base: Use the vegetable stock as a base for soups. Whether you’re making a hearty vegetable soup, a chicken noodle soup, or a creamy butternut squash soup, your homemade vegetable stock can elevate the flavors.
  • Cooking Liquid: Use it in place of water when cooking grains like rice, quinoa, or barley. It can add a great depth of flavor.
  • Sauces and Gravies: Vegetable stock can be used as a base for different sauces and gravies. It adds more flavor than just plain water and can help to cut down on added fats.
  • Braising Liquid: Vegetable stock is perfect for braising vegetables, meats, or legumes, imparting them with a rich, complex flavor.
  • Stews and Casseroles: Add your homemade vegetable stock to stews and casseroles for a flavor boost.
  • Steaming Vegetables: Instead of water, use vegetable stock to steam vegetables. It will add a subtle flavor to the veggies.
  • Drinking It Straight: You can also enjoy this stock as a warm, comforting drink on its own, perhaps with a bit of salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs for added flavor.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock Recipe

While Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock is often used as a base for other dishes rather than served on its own, it can be wonderfully complemented by various side dishes when used in a soup or as a broth. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Crusty Bread: Freshly baked, warm crusty bread or a good-quality baguette can be great for dipping into the stock or soup made from it.
  • Cheese and Crackers: A selection of your favorite cheeses alongside some crunchy crackers makes a nice contrast to a warm, smooth vegetable stock.
  • Green Salad: A light, fresh salad with a tangy vinaigrette can complement a rich, hearty vegetable soup.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Oven-roasted vegetables with a hint of herbs and garlic make a delightful side dish that can be eaten along with the vegetable soup.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: If the stock is being served as soup, a grilled cheese sandwich can make for a comforting, satisfying meal.
  • Stir-fried or Steamed Vegetables: These could provide a crunchy, colorful complement to a vegetable soup or broth.
  • Rice or Quinoa Salad: A cold salad made with rice, quinoa, or another grain, along with plenty of fresh vegetables and a flavorful dressing, could provide a nice contrast to a warm vegetable stock or soup.
vegetable soup

How Long Can We Store The Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock?

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock can be stored safely for future use, which is one of the reasons homemade stocks are so convenient. Here are some guidelines:

  • Refrigerator: Once the vegetable stock has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator. It should last for about 4 to 5 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, vegetable stock can be frozen. It’s often handy to freeze it in measured amounts that you frequently use in recipes (like 1-cup or 2-cup portions). Use freezer-safe containers or bags, and leave some space at the top, as the stock will expand when it freezes.  

Can I Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock In Advance?

You can definitely make Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock in advance! This is actually one of the great advantages of homemade stocks.

You can prepare a large batch of vegetable stock and store it in the fridge or freezer for future use. The stock should be used in the refrigerator within 4 to 5 days. If you plan to keep it longer, it’s best to freeze it. Frozen vegetable stock can last up to 4-6 months.

Consider portioning the stock into useful amounts (like 1 or 2 cups) before freezing or using an ice cube tray for small quantities. This way, you can easily thaw exactly the amount of stock you need for a recipe without defrosting a larger batch.       

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftover Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock is a treasure trove of flavor and shouldn’t go to waste! It can be incorporated into a myriad of dishes. Use it as a base for soups or stews, adding depth and richness to their flavors. Use the stock as a cooking liquid for grains like rice, quinoa, or pasta, imparting a delicious taste. 

It can also be used in place of water to steam vegetables, giving them an extra flavor boost. You can use it to make sauces, gravies, or even deglaze a pan. Lastly, consider sipping it as a warm, comforting beverage, perhaps with a squeeze of lemon or a dash of herbs.

vegetable soup

Special Tools /Equipment Needed

The Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock recipe does not require any special tools, making it very approachable. Here are the basic tools you’ll need:

  • Slow Cooker: This is the primary tool you’ll need. It allows you to leave the ingredients to simmer over a long period without needing to monitor them constantly. If you don’t have a slow cooker, a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove can be used.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: These are needed for chopping vegetables.
  • Rimmed Baking Sheet: If you’re roasting the vegetables first, you’ll need a baking sheet.
  • Measuring Spoons: For measuring out the olive oil, salt, and other small amounts of ingredients.
  • Strainer: You’ll need a fine-mesh strainer to strain the vegetables out of the stock after it’s cooked.
  • Containers for Storage: You’ll need containers or jars for storing the stock. If you plan to freeze some, make sure the containers are freezer-safe.
  • Mini Food Processor: If you’re making your own mushroom powder, you’ll need a mini food processor or spice grinder.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I add different vegetables to my stock?

Yes, you can certainly add different vegetables to your vegetable stock. The recipe is flexible, and you can use it to use up any leftover or slightly wilted vegetables in the fridge. However, avoid vegetables with strong flavors, like cabbage or artichokes, as they may overpower the stock.

Can I add spices or herbs to my vegetable stock?

Absolutely! While the recipe includes thyme and bay leaf, feel free to add other herbs and spices to suit your taste. Parsley, rosemary, peppercorns, and a pinch of turmeric could all be wonderful additions. Remember, the goal is to create a versatile base, so avoid overly dominant flavors.

Do I have to roast the vegetables first?

Roasting the vegetables is optional but helps deepen the stock’s flavor. The caramelization that happens during roasting adds complexity to the final stock. You can skip this step if you’re short on time, but the stock will have a lighter, more delicate flavor.

My stock doesn’t have a strong flavor. What did I do wrong?

Vegetable stock is typically lighter in flavor than meat-based stock. If you want a stronger flavor, you can simmer it longer to reduce it and concentrate the flavors. Remember to taste your stock and adjust the seasoning, as adding salt often adds flavor.

Why is my stock cloudy?

A cloudy stock is typically the result of boiling. For a clear stock, make sure your stock is simmered gently, not boiled. The cloudiness does not affect the flavor, so there’s no need to worry if you’re not concerned about the appearance.

Delicious Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock - Healthy Earthy Goodness

Delicious Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock – Healthy Earthy Goodness

5 from 9 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours 
Calories

50

kcal

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stock is a nutritious and flavorful homemade broth made with a combination of mushrooms, celery, carrots, parsnips, leeks, tomato, garlic, and herbs. Simmered in a slow cooker, this aromatic stock contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Ingredients

  • 8 8 Stuffing mushrooms

  • 3 caps 3  Portobello caps (Optional)

  • 3 stalks 3 Celery stalks

  • 3 carrots 3 Medium carrots

  • 2 2 Parsnips

  • 3 3 Large leeks (white part only)

  • 1 1 Large tomato

  • 6 6 Whole cloves garlic

  • 4 tsp 4 Olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Kosher salt (A pinch)

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 Fresh black pepper (A pinch)

  • 1 leaf 1 Dried thyme leaf

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Mushroom powder

  • 1 tsp 1  Tomato paste

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Tomato powder (Optional)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparing
    Preheat your oven to 375°F.
    Place all vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and then spread the vegetables evenly on the pan.
  • Cooking
    Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until they are browned.
    Transfer the roasted vegetables into a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (thyme, bay leaf, mushroom powder, tomato powder or paste, salt, and pepper).
    Pour 5 cups of filtered or bottled water into the slow cooker, ensuring the vegetables are submerged.

  • Blending
    Cook on the HIGH setting for 2 hours.
    After 2 hours, remove and discard the vegetables. Taste the broth and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
    Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Final Touches
    Once done, pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage container.
  • Serving
    Use the stock immediately, or allow it to cool before storing.
  • Additional Options
    If not using immediately, you can chill the stock and freeze it for future use.

Notes

  • Feel free to customize the recipe by adding or substituting vegetables according to your taste preferences.
  • Adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or herbs if desired.
  • To enhance the depth of flavor, you can roast the vegetables in the oven before adding them to the slow cooker.
  • Be mindful of the cooking time in the slow cooker. Overcooking may result in a mushy texture and loss of nutrients.
  • Once cooked, strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids and achieve a clear broth.
  • Allow the stock to cool before storing it in airtight containers. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for longer shelf life.
  • Use vegetable stock as a flavor base for soups, stews, risottos, and other recipes. It can also be enjoyed as a comforting and nutritious drink on its own.
Hanna Barnes

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