Healthy Vegetable Stock

What you need

2 onions or 2 small leeks

3  carrots

3 celery stalks

2 parsnips

5 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 small bunch parsley

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

½ tsp sea salt (optional)

What to do

Wash all the vegetables thoroughly cut them in large chunks and place in a large pot. If using leek, cut off the green leaves, then cut down the length of the leek and rinse under cold running water so that any dirt in between the leaves is removed.

Add the thyme and parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt.

Add cold water so that it covers the vegetables and you are able to easily stir the vegetables.  Less water means that your stock will be more concentrated; more water makes a lighter-flavoured stock.

Bring to the boil slowly skimming the surface to remove any froth – this will result in a lovely clear stock.

Simmer slowly for 1 to 1½ hours.

Allow the stock to cool then remove the vegetables, then strain to remove the peppercorns.

You can use the stock immediately, or store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it once cooled, for up to 12 months.

TIP:  You can add more flavour to your stock by roasting the vegetables beforehand or to letting them sweat (start to soften and release their liquids) for a few minutes over the heat before adding the water.