Notes: A fresh vegetable broth or stock is a staple for most spa kitchens. This all-purpose version comes from executive chef Cary Neff at Miraval Life in Balance Resort and Spa. Cool, cover, and chill it up to 1 week or freeze up to 6 months.
1 leek (about 12 oz.)
3 onions (1 1/2 lb. total), peeled and chopped
3 carrots (12 oz. total), scrubbed and chopped
2 stalks celery (4 oz. total), rinsed and chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
2 Roma tomatoes (6 oz. total), rinsed and quartered
1 head fennel (about 1 lb.; optional), rinsed, stalks trimmed, and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
How to Make It
Trim and discard root end from leek; split leek in half lengthwise and rinse well under running water, flipping layers to release grit. Coarsely chop leek and place in an 8- to 10-quart pan. Add onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, fennel, parsley, thyme, oregano, peppercorns, and enough water to cover vegetables (about 2 qt.). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, adding water as needed to keep vegetables barely covered.
Line a colander with a layer of cheesecloth (or use a large, fine wire strainer); set over a large bowl. Pour stock mixture into colander and drain vegetables well; discard vegetables. You should have about 8 cups stock. If you have less, thin with water; if more, boil, uncovered, until reduced to that amount.
Nutritional analysis per 1/2 cup.
Miraval Life in Balance Resport and Spa, Tucson, Arizona