Homemade Veggie Broth

I love soup. It’s probably my favorite type of food and yet I’m not so good at making it. Hubby can attest to the numerous soup-related cooking disasters I’ve had, many of which were due to an unfortunate lack of flavor. After a recent vegetable soup disaster, I finally realized my problem was the store-bought veggie broth. Have you ever tasted the stuff? Almost completely tasteless – no wonder my soups have no flavor! So I set about making some of my own. It’s SUPER tasty with very minimal effort (most veggies are chopped coarsely with peel left on).

Here’s what I used:

  • 16 cups water (1 gallon)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots (unpeeled, chopped into 1/4″ rounds)
  • 2 parsnips (unpeeled, chopped into 1/4″ rounds)*
  • 4 celery stalks (chopped into 1/4″ pieces)
  • 2 leeks (chopped into 1/2″ rounds)*
  • 1 onion (sliced into big chunks)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (smashed open with kitchen knife, but otherwise whole)
  • 2 broccoli stalks (use everything: cut off florets, then cut stalks into quarters)*
  • 1/2 bag of “dried woodland mushrooms” (see photo)*
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp paprika (this really helps the flavor!)
  • 2-3 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tamari or soy sauce

Note that the ingredients with an asterisk * aren’t essential to the recipe; feel free to throw in whatever you have laying around in your fridge: green beans, fennel, tomato, etc.

  1. In a large  stock pot combine the water, oil, veggies, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Heat water to a boil and let simmer uncovered for approximately 1 hour.
  2. Add salt, paprika, tamari / soy sauce and let simmer for another 20 min.
  3. Strain out vegetables.

Makes approximately 14 cups of broth (you can get the full gallon if you press the veggies dry). Store in refrigerator for relatively immediate use, or in the freezer for later.

Woodland MushroomsThese are the dried mushrooms I used – very expensive, but I didn’t notice until I was checking out! You definitely don’t have to use these, but I do recommend including some type of mushroom to round out your flavors (unless, of course, you can’t stand them).

Before cookingVeggies loaded in the pot before cooking (notice I included the leafy part of the celery stalk, too).

While cooking brothMostly cooked, but before salt, paprika, and tamari were added.

Straining the veggies outAll done and straining the veggies out.

The smell that filled my kitchen from this broth was nothing short of heavenly. Hubby was watching me take photos of the broth and told me I needed to take “smell-o-graphs” rather than photographs. All cheesiness aside, he’s right. This stuff was amazing.

Huge bowl of brothVoila, very large bowl of tasty veggie broth. I used some immediately to make veggie soup using Alton Brown’s recipe and froze the remaining 8 cups for another day. And this time, dear readers, my soup was DELICIOUS!

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I love hearing from my readers! Feel free to contact me via comments or at this address:

rambleonrosemary [at] gmail [dot] com

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