5 Ingredients or Fewer

Garlic Stock

November  1, 2021
11 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • makes about 8 cups
Author Notes

A supremely savory vegetable stock that only needs one ingredient. And yes, that ingredient is garlic—two whole heads of it. When simmered with water and seasoned with salt, this extrovert ingredient goes from razor sharp to buttery smooth, a lot like caramelized onions. The result is oh-so soothing, with pools of savory depth. Use it anywhere a recipe calls for vegetable (or even chicken) broth. Or, as I do, slurp it straight from a mug. Some tips for how to peel the garlic without losing your mind: Lightly smoosh each clove with the side of a knife, then dump them in a bowl of warm water and peel there. Or, as an old coworker used to do, add the unpeeled cloves to a tightly lidded container and shake the living daylights out of it until the cloves spring out of their skins. (In a pinch, you can opt for pre-peeled cloves, though their flavor is less outspoken.) —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

Adapted with permission from Big Little Recipes by Emma Laperruque, published by Ten Speed Press, 2021. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Garlic Stock
  • 2 big garlic heads
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Peel the garlic and roughly chop the cloves. Combine with 12 cups of water in a stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a confident simmer and cook for 1 hour or so, until the liquid has reduced to about 8 cups. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Use a spoon to mash the softened garlic through the sieve, enriching the broth (I incorporate almost all of it, but it’s your broth). Season with kosher salt to taste (1½ to 2 teaspoons for me).

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  • 2tattered
  • Diane Davey-Hardey
    Diane Davey-Hardey
  • Hannah
  • tastysweet
  • Kristina Sundin
    Kristina Sundin
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

29 Reviews

farmer B. October 24, 2022
Yes, as one reviewer mentioned, smash and wait 10 minutes. This a least triples the nutritional value of the garlic, and protects all the goodness from high temperature cooking. Major bonus. Delicious broth no doubt.
smseeger12 April 28, 2022
I used the Instant Pot as someone suggested. Had three heads that were starting to sprout, didn't peel, rough chopped. 8 cups water, 20 minutes on high. Strained and salted and sipping a cup now. The rest is being used in a potato soup later.
cjmurt April 16, 2022
Used this to serve vegetarian matzoh ball soup on Passover and it was delicious! I can see it becoming my go-to sub whenever recipes call for broth.
monika November 30, 2021
If I had not have tried the recipe, I would not believe how amazing this broth turned out!
Has been added to our stock collection kitchen recipes. Thank you for sharing!
Mike W. November 23, 2021
Smashed & Rough Chopped the Garlic. Going to use the stock in my stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving.
Used a lid while boiling & simmering, didn’t appear to reduce much. No mention to use a lid or not. Let me know if you like.
Mike W. November 23, 2021
Smashed, then rough chopped and into the pot. Boiled & simmered with the lid on. I’m going to use it in stuffing instead of chicken broth.
Pandy November 5, 2021
I'm trying this tonight, sounds delish! I have 2 questions please
1) Best way to store it?
2) Would Ginger be done same way?
Thank You I'm a huge fan of you and Channel 52
Carola November 3, 2021
I didn't want to peel all those cloves so I just cut the head of garlic in half crosswise, exposing the cut cloves and tossed them in a pot with the water and salt. After an hour or so I poured the broth through a strainer and squeezed the garlic cloves onto a plate, mashed them with a fork and whisked into the broth. Added shredded chicken, sliced mushrooms and leftover brown rice from last night's dinner. The wild rice was cooked separately according to package directions because it takes much longer to cook then tossed it into the same pot. Done and looked gourmet. Yummy!
Diane D. February 1, 2023
What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!
Cybele November 2, 2021
Sacrilege question for a work night cheat — rather than peel, what about buying the pre-peeled cloves at TJs or Whole Foods? The idea of peeling two heads gives me the willies….
pamela November 2, 2021
flavor and quality is so diluted... If you insist on peeling, you can use emma's trick but put all cloves in a cloth dishtowel. Hold tightly to all the ends and smash on your countertop 10ish times. Kinda messy, but easy to get the skins off.
Hannah November 4, 2021
You could invest in one of these trusty items: https://www.amazon.com/Garlic-Peeler-Silicone-Roller-Cloves/dp/B07XNV4ZK3

I have one and I love it. It cuts down on time peeling.
Yirgach November 2, 2021
Wonderful recipe!
The reason why you need to smoosh/smash/chop the garlic is to activate the alliinase enzyme which converts alliin (a sulfoxide in fresh garlic) to a compound called allicin, which is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Let it rest for 10 minutes to convert. Eating it raw is much more nutritious but hey, we gotta have the broth!
2tattered November 2, 2021
No need to peel. Just roughly chop and proceed.
Frances November 2, 2021
I would add puréed tomatoes for a simple soup.
FS November 2, 2021
Also some good olive oil.
pamela November 2, 2021
Fabulous technique. Though I would use organic garlic, smash cloves but not peel and put in the InstantPot w/ 8 c. water. Skins will add color. IP will really extract flavor.. and garlic is still mashable through a strainer. Stock (w/o salt) can still be reduced at this point for more intense flavor or to freeze in 'flavor bombs' to be used later.... thinking Thanksgiving gravy .. or stock to moisten bread stuffing. Thanks!
Helaine November 2, 2021
Love the instant pot tip! High pressure? How long?
pamela November 2, 2021
yes! high pressure. I'd do 15-20 min and let naturally decompress.
Kristin November 2, 2021
Thanks for the IP instructions! I have a mess of garlic from the garden so guess what I’ll be doing tonight!
tastysweet November 2, 2021
6 qrt IP?
Anita November 2, 2021
Don’t spend time peeling the cloves…you’ll be straining them later anyhow, just chop and use as is.
pamela November 3, 2021
Kristina S. November 3, 2021
I love the instant pot idea also. I'm going to go by a recipe I found for chicken stock and try high pressure for 45 minutes with a full natural release.
MissMew November 3, 2021
Great idea. I always pressure cook chicken stock... don't know why I didn't think of it for this!
Helaine November 3, 2021
Let me know how it works!
MissMew November 3, 2021
A batch just finished cooling. 20 minutes in my Presto was perfect. Looking forward to using this!
tastysweet November 5, 2021
Pamela, great suggestions. Do you reduce the stock in another pot?
pamela November 5, 2021
I would start out w/ less water than recipe indicates. If I want to reduce I can use the InstantPot 'saute' function.