This aromatic vegetable stock is a great way to use up vegetable peelings, skins, tops, bottoms and all the other bits that otherwise wouldn't end up in your final dish.

Ingredients (makes - as much as you like)

  • red pepper (insides including seeds)
  • carrot (tops and peelings)
  • leeks (ends and woody layers)
  • celery (tops and bottoms)
  • onion (skin, tops and bottoms)
  • fennel (tops and bottoms)
  • mushrooms (stalks and skins)
  • orange (peel)
  • parsley (stalks)
  • bay leaves
  • thyme
  • a few black pepper leaves
  • a star anise (optional)

Method

  1. Cover the vegetables with cold water, add the herbs and spices and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and leave the vegetables in to infuse overnight.
  4. Strain through a fine sieve.
  5. For maximum flavours allow the vegetables to infuse for 12 hours or more.

Hard core want more? use this delicious stock to make Tuscan ribollita soup.

By Mark Breen of Seasonal Kitchen.