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Ingredients for 7 cups: 

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 carrots, cleaned and thickly sliced

1 leek, trimmed to 2" green, quartered lengthwise, rinsed, sliced

1 stalk celery, thickly sliced

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

4 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean, trimmed and quartered (optional)

6 Italian parsley leaves

1 bay leaf

2 stems fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1 thick slice ginger root, chopped

8 cups cool water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 whole head garlic, unpeeled, halved (optional)


Combine all the vegetables, herbs and spices in a heavy, 8 quart saucepan.  Cover the pan and sweat the ingredients over medium low heat for 15 minutes.   Pour in the cool water, add salt and unpeeled, halved head of garlic.  Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Cook at a slow simmer for 45 minutes.  Strain stock through a sieve.  Refrigerate, and use as needed within 2 weeks, or freeze.