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Should I Put Potatoes in Vegetable Stock?

A lot of vegetable stock recipes call for potatoes, but I have never done that because it seems counterproductive - in my experience, potatoes absorb rather than lend flavor. Does anyone know why recipes include them?

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  1. How odd, never heard of such a thing. For a reality check, I googled "vegetable stock recipe" and zero out of the first ten that came up included potato for the stock. I see no reason to include them in your stock base - they are a subtle neutral, a nice addition to the eventual soup, but not a helpful aspect to the basic stock.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rcallner

      Agreed. Clean potato peelings/skins might be a fine addition, but not whole potatoes.

      1. re: rcallner

        I suppose I've seen it mostly in cookbooks, including Mark Bittman's: http://markbittman.com/very-flavorful...

        1. re: mgret05

          I've made the recipe from Bittman's HTCE. I don't think the potato adds anything good. He offers a variation with parsnip instead of potato and that is more to my liking.

      2. No. Not to make stock. I've never heard of that. ever.
        Now, if you want to make soup with the stock, and want potatoes in your soup, yes.

        1. Actually, Anna Thomas - author of "The Vegetarian Epicure" & other sequels (FABULOUS books, by the way) swears by Potato Peel broth & uses it in a number of recipes. Here's a link to one of her basic recipes:


          1 Reply
          1. re: Bacardi1

            I make potato peel broth regularly and really like it.

          2. I've never seen vegetable stock recipes that call for potatoes. I'm surprised you've seen a lot. SInce you already know you don't want it, make it how you prefer.

            1. <A lot of vegetable stock recipes call for potatoes>

              I have not learned of this. I won't say potateos absorb rather than lend flavor. I just don't see them as being "stock"

              1. Add my vote to the HELL NO column.

                1. No potatoes, just aromatic veggies and herbs.

                  1. I wouldn't do it...it won't make your stock "clear", i fear you'll get "cloudy" as the potato breaks down.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MRS

                      Yeah, seems like it would end up cloudy and starchy. There might be some specific uses for such a stock, but I don't think I'd want that as the general case.

                    2. I agree with cloudy, starchy, and no flavor added. Basically a waste of a good potato.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sandylc

                        I can see where you might get some flavor, mostly from the skin but the strachy grainy texture would be an issue

                      2. The starches will also make the stock spoil sooner.

                        1. plus 16 on this. never heard of putting spuds in stock.

                          1. I have done as Bacardi1 notes: used potato peels. I have a bag in the freezer with "stock stuff" that I add to the stockpot.

                            1. Lidia Bastianich calls for potatoes in her vegetable soup base. Works for me.

                              1. I worked for well known restaurant in my area that add potato and mushrooms this. kinetics is wright it adsorbs the flavor and your left with the same thing you started with water

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rossi84

                                  Most of the potato flavour is found in the skins. I add them sparingly. Same with carrot skins. All adding carrots and potatoes to make a veg stock is adding billions of tiny 'flavour sponges'. Celery makes a veg stock bitter. (TK) I use celery seed. White wine makes a veg stock bitter. (JC).