Saturday, March 6, 2010

Homemade Vegetable Broth


I make lots of soups, and often use broth to flavor other dishes like rice and quinoa. I realized that I never put up a recipe for homemade broth. It is simple to make, and tastes so much better than store bought. Plus it ensures avoidance of msg, excessive sodium and other nasty additives. And it is very economical, I can make a whole gallon of broth for less than the price of a 1 quart box. I freeze the extra in glass quart canning jars. Once you've made your own vegetable broth, you'll never want to go back to store bought.

 Homemade broth is a great way to use up an over abundance of vegetables, those that are past the peak of freshness, and avoid wasting any organic scraps and peelings that would normally be thrown in the trash. When I am cooking, I place any unused veggies such as mushroom stems, celery tops, carrot peelings, etc, into a container in the freezer to save for making broth. Leeks, scallions, garlic, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, zucchini and sweet potato are all nice additions to broth. Mushrooms and potatoes add a wonderful depth and richness to broth.

Another nice thing about making it yourself is that you can change it up and make it different each time. Vary the veggies as well as the seasonings. During winter I like to use bay leaves, in summer I add fresh dill from my garden. Have too many of something in your CSA box or garden? Throw them into your broth. Just be cautious about adding too many strong flavored veggies such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage as they can easily be overpowering. It isn't necessary to finely dice all your veggies, just make sure they are well cleaned and coarsely chop- most can be quartered or halved. Like I said, this is simple. In about an hour you'll have the best tasting fresh, nutritious broth you've ever tasted. Here is the recipe for my latest batch of broth, use it as a guide and add the veggies, scraps and seasonings of your choice. I did not add any salt to this. I do not use much salt and prefer to add it when I use the broth in other recipes. So salt to your own taste.



Homemade Vegetable Broth

1/2 of a red onion, cut in half
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
4-6 stalks celery, including tops, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
hand full green beans
2 potatoes, with skin on, quartered
2 bay leaves
1 T. parsley
1 T. black peppercorns
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 gallon water

Place everything in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour. Strain, pressing liquid out of the veggies. Place in the fridge if not using right away, or freeze in quart containers for use later.

Edited to Add: I had to turn on comment moderation since I was spammed. Sorry, and hope you'll bear with me.

9 comments:

Jackie @ Munching Madness March 6, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

Hi! Do you ever use the potato peels? Sometimes when John makes mashed taters he peels them, and I hate to waste them!

Fayinagirl (means Free One) March 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

I've been meaning to make some vegetable broth so that I don't have to buy any at the market. Yours looks very yummy.

janet March 6, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

Jackie, I use potato peels as long as they are organic. Non-organic potatoes have been treated with fungicides, etc. so I don't use those.

Julie Lynn, thanks, it was delicious, so much better than store bought:)

Dolly March 6, 2010 at 9:06 PM  

Interesting.......I'm so NOT a cook !

So what do you do with the actual vegetables that you boiled?

janet March 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

Dolly, since they are mostly scraps, I just discard them when the broth is ready.

Claudia March 7, 2010 at 12:51 PM  

i do love doing this. Haven't in a month. Timely reminder and the kitchen smells so good.

janet March 7, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

Claudia, you're right, it surely does make the kitchen smell good:)

Debbie March 8, 2010 at 8:31 PM  

Hey - thanks for sharing that. I've NEVER intentionally made broth - and want to use homemade more often, so I appreciate you sharing your recipe. Just 2 weeks ago we cooked some sweet potatoes with a chicken in the crock pot and they were TO DIE FOR, so they'd HAVE to be in my veggie broth. =) And that inspires me to try my quinoa, too! Thanks.

Stacy March 11, 2010 at 11:26 PM  

I love homemade broth--it is impossible to go back to canned or boxed broth once you've tasted it!

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