Seasonal Recipes

Vegetable Broth

 

If you're not already making your own vegetable stock, you should start now.

All it requires are vegetable scraps plus a few unattended hours on the stove. It is also leaps and bounds more flavorful, and less expensive, than the boxed variety. This cannot be emphasized enough.

Keep a large container in your freezer, and fill it with any vegetable bits and bobs that you discard while cooking e.g. kale stems, carrot pieces, fennel, alliums of all kinds, bay leaves, and thyme. I also, always, add Parmesan rinds. Whatever you choose to use, vegetable stock will soon become a broth you consider serving on its own, rather than a placeholder in your recipes.

How to Make Vegetable Stock Without a Recipe

1. Gather all of your vegetables. Either pull your scraps from the freezer, or gather a few carrots, some celery, an onion that you can cut in half but don't need to peel, a handful of garlic cloves (also unpeeled), and some herbs, more vegetables will mean a more flavorful broth.

2. Soften vegetables in oil first, and then add salted water. Bring your water to a slight boil, then reduce to a simmer, and partially cover it, never let it crazy boil. Simmer your stock for at least two hours; if I have the time, I'll let mine go for three to four hours. It will start to look like a vegetable graveyard and smell like the beginnings of dinner. More time will mean deeper flavor, so just taste as the time passes, add salt as needed, and remove from heat when you like what you have.

3. Using a fine mesh strainer or a colander with small holes, drain your vegetables and stock into another large bowl or pot. Discard cooked vegetables. 

4. Strain out any lingering solids, then let your stock cool before storing it in the fridge (for up to a week) or the freezer (for up to three months).