Store-bought mushroom broth is often too salty, with flavors that fall flat, so we developed our own easy recipe. The secret to a rich broth: sautéing the vegetables first, rather than just simmering them raw. This balanced broth—not too herbal or vegetal—is versatile enough to use anywhere you would use chicken or beef broth, like stews, soups, stuffing, or gravy.
1 tablespoonolive oil
1 medium carrot, large dice
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces (white and pale green parts only)
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
6 medium garlic cloves
2 pounds medium white button mushrooms, stems trimmed and quartered
8Italian parsley sprigs
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
3 quarts (12 cups) water
1/4 teaspoonkosher salt
1Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, leek, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and leeks have softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2Add the mushrooms, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to release some moisture, about 4 minutes.
3Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are completely soft and the stock has a pronounced mushroom flavor, about 1 hour.
4Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof container or saucepan; discard the contents of the strainer. Stir in the salt. If not using immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.