Makes 6 quarts
Asparagus stock in particular is a rich, subtly flavoured foundation for vegetable soups and dishes that cannot be had any other way than making it at home. Generic off-the shelf vegetable stocks can't really compare to it's spring freshness. Don't overcook, or the flavour can become unpleasant, just like overcooked asparagus. Note that we also don't salt our stock while we're making it, only when we use it. This allows finer control of the flavour of our recipes. Finally, thanks to Julia Child we know the secret to great stock is to never let it come to a boil, only a simmer...
Heat a large stockpot over medium heat:
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
Add and cook, stirring until softened:
The woody ends of 12 pounds of asparagus
2 large chopped onions, with their skins
8 chopped or broken celery stalks
4 chopped or broken carrots
A handful of lettuce
12 parsley sprigs
Cold Water to cover
Tip: If you have any loose vegetable trimmings while the stock is simmering throw them in, as there's no point in wasting them!