If you don’t have store-bought vegetable or chicken stock on hand, it’s easy to create a quick, flavorful stock for your soups.

The type of stock you choose to use in your recipes is based entirely on preference, as vegetable and chicken or beef stock are interchangeable.

How to Make Vegetable Stock:

For vegetable stock, simply fill a pot with water that’s equal to the amount of stock you’ll need, plus one cup, and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Depending on what kind of soup you make, add vegetables and flavors accordingly, including any scraps and peelings of vegetables you chop during your soup prep. Bring the stock to a boil, and then allow it to simmer for at least 10 minutes. After straining and discarding solids, your stock is ready to use.

How to Make Chicken Stock:

To make homemade chicken broth, heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add chicken legs and thighs (about 3 pounds) and a chopped onion. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, and then reduce heat to low, allowing the chicken to cook for about 20 minutes. Increase heat to high; add 2 quarts of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 bay leaves. Once the water begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cover for another 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the solids before using.

Try your homemade stock in any of the recipes below:

  1. Black Bean Soup: A hearty black bean and chickpea soup with the full flavor of assorted bell peppers, jalapeño, scallions, and garlic.
  2. Sweet Potato Soup with Seared Tomatillos: Seared tomatillos top a hearty purée of sweet potatoes with the warm flavors of cinnamon and poblano peppers in this soup, perfect for a cold day.
  3. Celery Potato Soup: This recipe uses the entire celery stalk—leaves and all—for a more intense celery flavor.