VEGETABLE BROTH

I’ve had a lot of trouble making vegetable broth in the past because I’ve found that it usually ends up flavorless.  But I’ve come to really like making my own broth that can be used in everything: as a base for soup broths, or a replacement for chicken broth in recipes that are otherwise vegetarian.  In a pinch, I’m a fan of Knorr Vegetable Bouillon Cubes, but they are pretty high in sodium and taste kind of fake.

The beauty if veggie broth is that you can use any vegetable you want or have on hand.  At this point, I do keep Kombu, a dried seaweed that is used as a base for dashi in vegetarian Japanese broths, and a dried Mushroom Blend which adds a great meaty depth to broths, in my pantry.  I very often have a few spare carrots and an extra onion lying around.  If I’m going to the grocery store, I like to add something leafy, like a Bok Choy (I actually use Bok Shanghai).  Some people like to add celery, but I’m not a fan of the flavor.  The most recently time I made broth, I had fennel for a recipe, so I threw the stocks in, otherwise I include fennel seeds.

  • 4″ Peice of Kombu
  • 1 oz Dried Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Lb Carrots, cut into 3″ pieces
  • 1 Onion, halved and sliced in 1/2 pieces
  • 1 Lb Bok Choy, or leafy vegetable of choice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
  • Other seasoning as desired: Thyme, or a couple of inches of Ginger, Bay Leaves, Smashed Garlic
  • Salt to taste

I made a double batch here:

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Place all ingredients except salt in a Dutch Oven or large pot, and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for an hour or two.  Strain broth through a medium mesh strainer, pressing liquid out of the cooked vegetables (especially the mushrooms).  Season with salt.  Start with half a teaspoon, and taste.  Add more if you like.  I do tend to leave the broth slightly on the bland side so that I have a little more control over my finished dishes.

With my double batch (it will kind of depend on the size of your pot), I made 24 cups of broth.  Any broth that I didn’t use for dinner, I allowed to cool to room temperature, and then poured into 1 cup storage containers freeze for the next time I need broth.

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