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Forget about buying prepared broth tubs at the grocery store, making your own vegetable broth with leftovers is so easy, and once you get used to it, you'll wonder why you didn't before.
Do you have recipes that you know so well, recipes that are so common in your kitchen, that it just doesn't occur to you that other people may not know how to prepare them? This vegetable broth is one of those recipes, and honestly, it wasn't until some of you e-mailed me, asking me to share how I make mine, that I realized that, actually, maybe I've been drinking broth. homemade vegetables Of course all these years!
The point is, I actually considered sharing a tutorial years ago, and then decided that no one would be interested because really, vegetable broth isn't exactly exciting, is it? Haha!
How long ago In 2016, when I lived in Croatia! And as you can see in the photos, they are from two very different shots. Needless to say, I didn't actually finish the original shoot… I was so unconvinced that anyone was interested in a post on how to make vegetable broth!
So now that you've been proven wrong, this vegetable broth recipe is for everyone who has asked for it. You know who you are!
Why do you want to make vegetable broth?
Have you ever seen the sodium content of a bouillon cube or a teaspoon of bouillon powder? Even low sodium has so much more than I'm happy to consume… and I don't have to worry about my blood pressure. If you are someone who has a history of high blood pressure, you may want to choose foods that are low in sodium.
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Even though I don't have high blood pressure (quite the opposite, actually), having too much sodium in my diet leads to water retention, which in turn makes me feel bloated and generally slug-like. I do not need that. No way. And neither do you, I suspect.
Also, homemade vegetable broth is not only better for you, it is better for your wallet and also for the environment because it will reduce the things you throw away (not only your waste, but also the packaging from purchased stock) buckets, etc.). And if you have a compost bin, or your local council collects waste, you can basically reduce food waste to almost zero.
What can you use for your vegetable broth?
This homemade vegetable broth uses most of the vegetable peels and cuttings that you would normally throw or toss in the compost bin, so you essentially get free food, right? 😉
You can also use any flexible veggies that may be lurking in the back of the fridge (come on, we all have them!), Or those last few potatoes, which have gotten a little wrinkled. If you have herbs that are starting to spin, throw them out too. In fact, I freeze herbs that are no longer the best, so I can use them as broth.
Just keep a bag in your freezer for peeling, then once it's full, put everything in a large pot, along with some herbs and any additional vegetables you want, add a little water, boil, then cook over heat. Slow for an hour or two, and you're gone. Once the broth is ready, you can strain and bottle it, or mix it.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is best to use roughly equal amounts of each vegetable, so depending on what leftovers you have, you may want to add one or two more vegetables to balance things out.
If you are going to mix the broth, I advise you to put any piece of paper (for example, onion and garlic) and any woody herb on a piece of muslin, and tie it; This makes it easier to retrieve them from the pot before mixing the other ingredients. I also advise adding more water, or else you will end up with soup!
What is the best to make vegetable broth?
Carrots, onions, leeks, celery, and mushrooms are great, and overall these are the leftovers you probably have. I also add garlic and onion shells and ends. I also add those annoyingly small cloves of garlic, which most heads have at least one; I really don't like peeling them, so they go in the pot.
Parsnips, turnips, and Swedes are also great for vegetable broth, but they are easy to use because they can dominate the other flavors and your broth will be lopsided. That said, you can counter the sweetness of parsnips a bit by adding a tomato or two. Tomatoes also work well to offset the sweetness of red, yellow, and orange peppers.
Some people don't like using potatoes in their vegetable broth, but I've never had a problem using them, and it's a great way to use the peels. However, if you use too many, it can make your broth a bit opaque (and a little thicker), so if you have a clear vegetable broth this is your goal (for example if you plan on using it for broth), leave potatoes outside. If it doesn't bother you, or you'll be using the broth for something that doesn't need to be clear, then go ahead and use potatoes.
What's not so good for making vegetable broth?
I never use beets, even white or yellow beets. Not beet leaves. I just don't like the land they add; For me, it is overwhelming, even when used in small amounts. Also, red beets will be a dark, muddy colored broth.
Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) are fine in moderation, but then again, if you add too much, the other flavors will dominate. Plus, your kitchen will suck! Anyway, I don't tend to have brassica pieces because I appreciate the stems to put in salads and salads, or sliced them, and use them in stir-fries instead of water chestnuts. At most, I only have a couple of jagged outer blades and some knobby ends.
Green beans (for example, French, runner, etc.) are fine in small quantities, just like summer squash, but I wouldn't use them in full because they can turn sour when overcooked. TBH, however, if you're just adding a few ends of the hedge and tail, there won't be enough to make an adverse difference in the finished broth anyway, so you can dump them.
What can vegetable broth be used for?
Loads! Soups, stews, sauces, stews, pho, laksa (recipes coming soon), noodles, polenta, pilaf, sauce … All things!
Any other tips for making vegetable broth?
If desired, you can sweat the vegetables in a little olive oil before adding the water to the pot, as this will add a little more body to the finished broth. If you are making it for drinking, you may find that doing so results in a more satisfying vegetable broth; however if you will be using it as a base for other dishes then it really wouldn't bother me. Not only will you not notice much difference, but it will frustrate the purpose of doing something for free!
(OK, I know it's not technically free, especially since we have to pay for the fuel to cook the broth, but you understand where I came from, right?)
- Almost sodium free
- Without gluten
- Soy free
- Walnut free
- Low calorie
Perhaps one of the best things about making vegetable broth yourself is that you have full control of the flavor, so you can customize it according to your ultimate purpose. I call it a definitive victory, right? Enjoy!
How to make vegetable broth with pieces
Forget about buying ready-made bouillon tubs at the supermarket, making your own vegetable broth with leftovers is a piece of cake, and once you get used to it, you'll wonder why you didn't before!
Preparation time: 5 minutes.
Cooking time: 2 hours.
Total time: 2 hours 5 minutes
1250 ml cups of water
1 kg of mixed vegetable leftovers (eg leek, onion, parsnip, potato, carrot, sweet pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, etc.)
4 bay leaves
a small bunch of fresh parsley may be better
- as many whole garlic cloves as you like
- Pour everything into a large pot and bring to a boil.
Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to low, shake the pot, cover with a lid and simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on how strong you want your broth to be.
Once the broth is ready, carefully strain it into a suitable container with a lid. Set aside to cool, then keep in the refrigerator for a week or so, or in the freezer for up to three months. (note 2)
- Depending on the vegetables and herbs you use, your broth can be strong or mild in flavor. If you want a strong flavored broth, use less water, weaker, use more. This recipe is for the middle ground!
- If I am not freezing my vegetable broth and I am not using it right away, I store it in 1 liter clip-on Kilner bottles that you can see in the photos.
- I don't add salt and pepper to my vegetable broth because I prefer to add seasonings to the dish itself, not the broth; however, if you prefer to add it to yours, go ahead!
- I have not provided nutritional data for this broth because I have no way of knowing how much vegetables to use, or how much salt, if any. Mine generally produces about 5-10 calories per 1 cup (240 ml) and about 35 mg of sodium if I don't add salt.
If you like how to make vegetable broth with pieces, you will love these other recipes!
I'm linking my recipe for How to make vegetable broth with vegetable chunks to these link parties, hosted on the following blogs. Click on the photos to find more delicious treats!