All Purpose Vegetable Broth

Some of the ingredients you can use in a vegetable stock: celery, carrot, onion, shallot, fennel, dill, ginger, garlic, and bay leaves. 

Broth is about adding a savory flavor and complexity to a dish. And it’s always better when it’s home made. If you know you’re going to be doing a lot of cooking, it really pays to make a batch in advance, but if you didn’t plan that far, here’s a quick recipe that will add flavor and character to any dish.

Ingredients

Celery (especially the leaves if you can find them!)
Onions
Carrots (including the tops if you can find them)
Bay leaves
Kombu
Parsnip
Parsley root (very rare. If you see these in the market, don’t think – just grab them)
Other root vegetables that suit your taste
Sea salt

A word of caution about nightshades

Tomatoes often make their way into vegetable broth, and so do peppers. The problem with this is that they don’t work with every recipe. It is best to avoid them if you are making an all-purpose broth and you’re not sure what it’s for. If you’re making a broth for a particular dish in mind, let’s say, a paella or lentils, where tomatoes and peppers would go nicely, there are better ways to include them in the final dish.

The process

Warm up a big ol’ stock pot full of your veggies and water. Add up to a tablespoon of sea salt for a large, 6-8 quart pot. Simmer for about two hours. Let cool, then strain out the vegetables. Use in recipes such as this one.

More food for thought

If you know you’re going to be cooking, why not put a pot of water on the stove and throw in all your vegetable scraps? Onion edges, carrot tops, the parts of the celery you wouldn’t use in a salad or a mirepoix, garlic skins, the outer layer of a fennel or an onion bulb, the stalks of herbs you would otherwise discard… you get the point. These ingredients actually have a lot of flavor that would be put to amazing use in your stock pot. Add a bit of salt and some bay leaves and you’re set. You can simmer this for hours upon hours, making the house smell great, feel warm, and providing you with delicious broth to use whenever you feel the need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *