Broth Making: Homemade vegetable broth

The other night, I was all set to experiment with a squash soup recipe I had bouncing around in my head, but I realized I was totally out of vegetable broth.

What’s a Nana-in-Training to do? Well, make homemade broth, of course! Homemade vegetable is easy, delicious and economical freezer staple. To make broth you will need a selection of vegetables, herbs, spices and water. You can really use any mixture of vegetables. Use up those vegetable ghosts of recipes past and make this fantastic freezer staple.
Vegetable broth is great in soups and other recipes. Swap out chicken broth and make your vegetable soup, truly vegetarian. Use it instead of water for rice or couscous.
This batch yielded 22 cups of broth!!
The goods
1 bunch of celery–washed, stalks separated, leaves on (I used celery left over from bloody mary’s)
5 red potatoes-washed, skin-on, quartered
1/2 cup mushrooms–any variety (I used plain jane white mushrooms)
1 bulb garlic, roughly chopped
1 large onion–washed, skin on, quartered
1 cup carrot (I had left over shreds. You can just toss in a couple whole carrots cut into chunks)
Stems from one bunch of broccoli (who eats the stems anyway? save the tops for dinner!)
3 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Fresh herbs–I used the stems from one bunch of cilantro, 2 stems of basil. (The stems have flavor too, perfect for broth!)
2 inches of ginger, un-peeled, roughly chopped
Gear
Large stock pot, preferably a large pasta pot with strainer insert
Plenty of freezer bags
Liquid measuring cup
Permanent marker
Stock-making
Put all ingredients in your pasta pot with the strainer insert in place (or in a large stock pot). Cover completely with water. Put lid on and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 1-2 hours, until stock is fragrant and rich in color (should be like a caramel color).
Remove from heat. Let stand and cool at room temperate for another hour.
After broth is cooled remove strainer insert from pot. Or if you used a stock pot, strain broth into a large bowl or pot.
Use liquid measuring cup to measure broth in 1 or 2 cup portions. Pour into freezer bags, label, date and freeze flat. Yield: 15-20 cups
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