1 onion and/or 1-2 c. leek+trimmings (roots and inner leaves)
8 parsley stems
A few thyme sprigs or pinches
2 carrots leaves
2 celery ribs with leaves
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp. salt
Chop everything roughly into large, bite-sized pieces. In addition to the basic ingredients, include CLEAN trimmings from the vegetables you’re using in your soup, risotto, or whatever you’re making (such as celery root skins, mushroom stems, squash seeds, corncobs, zucchini ends, tomato cores, chard stems, or bell pepper cores. Avoid strong, aggressive veggies such as mustard greens, turnips, and parsnips). Add these trimmings to the stock as you do your cutting and slicing. If the recipe calls for an herb, add a few sprigs to the stock as well. The more vegetable matter you use, the more flavor. For a light stock, bring the vegetables, 2 quarts cold water, and the salt to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-40 minutes. For a slightly more robust stock, sauté the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil first to brown them, which gives color as well as flavor to the stock, then add the water and salt. When the stock is done, strain it immediately. If you want to reduce it further, do so after straining.
Adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison