Less of a recipe and more of a life saver, making your own veggie broth is essential for delicious winter soups or sipping from a mug while watching the snow fall. There are really only a few guidelines.
Ingredients: (no rules here, just add what is in your fridge that needs to be used. I would avoid super powerful herbs (rosemary, cilantro, sage until the end and then, just for a bit of flavor). Also, I like to keep a bin of scraps in my freezer that I fill with the onion ends, carrot peels, celery bottoms, leek tops, etc. and then use that to fill my stock pot.
You may not have/want all of these ingredients but here's a list of some great options.
- aromatics: leeks, garlic, fennel fronds and bottoms, corn cobs
- essentials: carrots, celery, onion. mushroom (stems)
- Herbs/spices: bay leaf, crushed pepper corn, chili flakes, parsley, thyme
- finishing: lemon, vinegar, rosemary, sage,
1. Roast the sturdier veggies (carrots, onion, parsnip, garlic, celery) in a 400 degree oven for 30 min or so if you want a deep flavor and darker color. Or don't roast them and get a brighter and lighter flavor.
2. Just cover the veggies in the pot with water by an inch or two.
3. Cook until the firmest veggies in the pot are soft, like the carrots and onions. Don't over cook as the flavor mellows and dulls if over cooked.
4. Add acid! A generous squeeze of lemon juice or cider vinegar to finish the broth brings out all the yummies.
5. Salt at the end, and don't overdo it. Or leave unsalted and let the final dish dictate how much salt you need.
6. Strain and pour into pint or quart jars and store in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for 6 months to a year. Remember, when freezing liquid give it enough room in the container to expand.
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