A couple of mornings ago I made a big batch of homemade vegetable stock. I love what a homemade stock can do for a simple soup, and it sure beats the sodium-packed store bought versions. Not to mention it makes your house smell wonderful while it cooks.

Simple Vegetable Stock

1-2 onions
2-3 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 bay leaf
Fresh herbs – I use thyme and rosemary, sage would be nice too
Small bunch of parsley
1 teaspoon or so whole peppercorns

Roughly chop all your veggies and toss them in a large stock pot with the herbs and peppercorns. Cover with water- if you use less water, the stock will have a stronger flavor, with more water it will be lighter. I prefer a lighter stock so I poured about 3 quarts of water into the pot.

Cook covered on high until the stock boils, then reduce to medium-low and allow to cook for about an hour. Strain your stock in a fine mesh colander or cheesecloth. Use immediately, or separate into quart-sized jars or other containers. Allow to cool and stick the extra in the freezer for future soups!