I am sure a lot of people have much more exciting things to do on a day off then sit in their apartment making homemade vegetable stock, but I am not one of them.
Whether you are a vegan or not, chances are you use vegetable stock in your cooking from time to time. Sure, it's convenient to grab some prefab stock at the store, but read the label on one of those sometime- ick!
If you really want to make your food taste extra yum, you have to make your own stock. Luckily, it's pretty easy. There are lots of great resources out there on how to make your own, I particularly enjoy this post at vegan yum yum.
In my neighborhood, I can grab a huge thing of "soup greens" for about a buck fifty at the corner deli. Sadly they are not organic, but I can get a bunch of carrots, celery, onions, leeks, turnips and parsley for cheap. Does this type of thing exist outside of Brooklyn? I find it magical.
Anyhoo, basically I just chop up the aforementioned soup greens and throw them in a some heated olive oil in a large soup pot as I go. I then add eight or so whole peeled cloves of garlic, any fresh herbs I have on hand (this week it was rosemary), a few tablespoons of tomato paste and a few tablespoons of tamari. And salt and pepper, of course.
Finally I add about ten or so cups of water, bring the whole thing to a boil and then down to simmer for an hour or two. When the veggies look very brown, pale and sad I strain the broth a few times, let it cool, then freeze it or put it in the fridge for a couple of days.
It sounds complicated, but it's pretty easy peasy, and strangely therapeutic to make your own stock. And it really does make a world of difference in soups, sauces, etc.