How to Make a Simple Stock

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It’s the secret ingredient that adds depth, intensity, and structure to any dish! Stock is a great way to use up excess aromatic vegetables or veggies that are on their last legs like celery cores, slightly wilted carrots, or that random half an onion. It’s also the tastiest way to use parts of vegetables that you don’t normally cook with, like leek greens, scallion roots, and fennel fronds. Learn how to make your own simple stock by following this guide or checking out our other stock tips. Our Simple Stock is just a baseline to get started but we highly encourage you to get more creative!

Makes 2-4 quarts


  • Leftover beef or chicken bones (unless you’re making vegetable stock)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves
  • 4-5 large carrots, broken into pieces
  • 4-5 large celery stalks, broken into pieces
  • Herbs like parsley sprigs, black peppercorns, thyme sprigs, bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • other vegetable scraps*


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Cover ingredients by about 2 inches with water.
  2. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming off and removing any foam occasionally. Add water to the pot, as needed, to keep ingredients covered. 
  3. Strain stock into a large bowl and compost the solids. Let cool to room temperature and cover and refrigerate for 5 hours, or overnight.
  4. Skim solidified fat from the surface and discard.

Recipe Notes and Variations

*Vegetables that are great in stock: Onions, carrots, celery, garlic, leeks, fennel, mushrooms, thyme, parsley. Avoid cruciferous veggies like cabbage or brussels sprouts as they can make your stock bitter.


  • Elsa Schafer
    October 14, 2021 at 9:37 am

    FABULOUS Recipes – I’m so grateful and truly looking forward to these delicious sounding/looking Thai dishes – and the stock. Heartfelt thanks Imperfect for adding so many benefits to your great delivery of healthy food and fun:). Onward1

    • Imperfect Foods
      October 22, 2021 at 2:13 am

      Thanks so much for the love, Elsa!


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