This stock is good enough to serve as a first course consommé, in addition to using it as a basis for some of the recipes that follow. Baking or caramelizing the vegetables before adding the water gives an additional richness to the stock. If you wish, adding a 1 to 2 inch piece of kombu seaweed will also add a further depth of flavor. This stock will keep for 2 days, covered, in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen; divide it into 2- or 3-cup freezer containers. Feel free to add any vegetable trimmings from the bag in your freezer, but beware of cabbage or broccoli, whose flavors tend to dominate the stock.
Read Dave DeWitt's article on Veggie Soups for Spring here.
4 onions, not peeled, cut into eighths
3 large ribs celery, cut into fourths
2 leeks, white part only
1 head garlic
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons high quality olive oil
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped New Mexican green chiles, or more to taste
1/3 cup chopped parsley, including the stems
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil or 2 tablespoons of dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1 zucchini, peeled and sliced
3 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3 quarts cold water
5 whole black peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the onions, celery, leeks, garlic, and carrots in a shallow pan and pour the wine over the top. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
Heat the oil in a pot and add the caramelized vegetables and the green onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients (except the water and peppercorns) and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cold water and the peppercorns and bring the mixture to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 2 hours. Remove the cover and simmer for another 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and salt to taste.