Here is a basic vegetable stock that I sometimes use. It comes from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Beans & Rice Time Life Books 1994 Weldon Owen Productions
This is a great basic stock for vegetarian cooking. It should be simmered for only 1 - 1 1/2 hours to ensure a sweet fresh flavor. Any number of vegetables can be used, for a wide range of results: onions, leeks, carrots, celery, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, green beans, squash, garlic, fennel, eggplant, a little bit of cabbage.. Greens such as spinach, Swiss chard and lettuce. Avoid cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, and beets or beet greens, because of their strong flavors. The trimmings can be leftover vegetable peelings, fennel stalks, mushroom and spinach stems, lettuce leaves, and the like.
10 cups (2 lb/1 kg) chopped vegetables and/or trimmings
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
12 parsley stems
pinch of dried or fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
Place all the vegetables in a stockpot or large saucepan. Use the remaining ingredients to make a bouquet garni: Combine the parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf on a small piece of cheesecloth (muslim), bring the corners together and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to the pot along with water to cover the vegetables by 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm).
Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat so the liquid simmers gently. Simmer, uncovered, until the stock has a good aroma and flavor, 1-1 1/2 hours. Add water to maintain the original level as necessary.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and let cool. To store, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Makes 2-3 qt (2-3l)