Vegetable stock is a liquid made from water and vegetables. The exact vegetables vary, but are most commonly some combination of onions, celery, carrots and herbs.
Broth is an old world term that just means “boiled” so yes, broth and stock are the same thing. They are both a liquid simmered to make a vegetable infused water.
Most commonly soups, but you can also use it in pasta, casserole, as the water base for rice, barley and farro, gravy and even dressings and marinades.
You can also substitute vegetable stock in any recipe that calls for chicken stock or turkey stock. Beef broth/stock is a little tricker, but can be done depending on the recipe.
Using stock in boiling water for pasta, rice and potatoes is one of my secrets to more flavorful foods.
The most basic way to make stock is to start with a large stock pot of water, then add desired vegetables, spices and herbs.
Bring to a very low simmer and allow to heat for several hours. The longer it has to heat, the more developed the flavor.
Strain out all of the solids and you are left with vegetable broth.
Basically it is just stock/broth that is super reduced until it is a paste form and has high flavor potency. When combined with water, the potency reduces to more mild form.
You can also find bouillon, which is a granulated version of concentrate.
Both of these are great ways to always have vegetable stock on hand.
Depending on the recipe, other stocks like chicken, beef or bone broth can easily be swapped out. You can always use plain, old water or add a splash of wine.
You can also jazz up your water by adding garlic or onion powder and other dried herbs and spices like parsley or basil.
Homemade vegetable stock will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure you shake or whisk well before adding to the desired recipe to reintegrate all the ingredients.
Stocks are also easily frozen to be used at a later date. Simply let it cool and pour it into plastic freezer bags. It will stay good for up to 1 year.