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Best Vegetable Stock*

4 onions, diced
1 head celery, chopped
2 leeks, cleaned and diced
4 carrots, chopped
1 can (18 oz) plum tomatoes
1 C sliced mushrooms
1/2 C shredded cabbage
2 turnips, diced
1 parsnip, sliced
1 potato, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 small pinch parsley
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 whole clove
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 qt water

In a large nonstick soup pot, combine all ingredients except water and cook until the vegetables are wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 2 hours, until all the flavors have been extracted.

Pass the liquid through a sieve, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor. The solids have served their purpose, and you now have a flavored stock to cook with. You may, however, take the remaining solids and process them in a food processor into a purée that can be used as a starch-free thickening agent in soups and stews. Both products can be successfully frozen in small batches. Makes 2-1/2 to 3 qt of usable stock.


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