Homemade mock chicken stock for a kitchen staple on Meatless Monday

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A good stock can make or break many recipes -- but unfortunately, it's hard to get a good vegetable stock from a can or a box. But making it yourself is easy as can be (especially if you have a stock pot with a strainer, a worthy investment). This mock chicken stock recipe (adapted from Moosewood New Favorites) is just as versatile as the version made with poultry; you can use it in soups, casserole, risotto and much more.

See also: - Butternut squash and saffron risotto for a savory entree on Meatless Monday - Vegan green bean casserole for a holiday side dish on Meatless Monday - Spanish-style black-eyed peas for a new year's dish on Meatless Monday

You will need:

4-5 bay leaves 2 teaspoons turmeric 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme 1 teaspoon salt 2 small garlic bulbs 1/2 bunch Italian parsley 6 stalks celery 5 carrots 4 medium-sized red potatoes 4 onions Enough water to cover ingredients

1. Place a large pot on the stove -- you can use a fabric strainer and put the vegetables in there (leave out the herbs and bay leaves) or one of these handy stock pots with a strainer. Add the bay leaves and the turmeric, thyme and salt. 2. Break apart the garlic bulbs and peel the cloves; add to the pot. 3. Rinse the parsley and add it (no need to trim the stems). 4. Rinse and roughly chop the celery, adding it to the stock mixture. 5. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and add them, too. 6. Scrub and roughly chop the potatoes and throw them in the pot. 7. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Throw it on top of the rest of the ingredients. Add enough water to cover all of the vegetables. 8. Cover and bring the stock to a boil. When it's boiling, lower to a simmer, keep covered and cook for an hour. The veggies make great compost when you're finished with them. Strain and store. You can keep the stock in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it and keep for six months. Four-cup containers are perfect for freezing the stock -- and we guarantee you'll use it before the six months are up. This stock is an excellent addition to all kinds of recipes, and it also makes a good plant-based alternative to chicken soup for vegans and vegetarians laid up with colds and the flu!

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