Homemade Vegetable Broth Tips ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Homemade Vegetable Broth Tips

I promise, this is the last in my mini-series of soup-related recipes!  It started off with an easy chicken noodle soup recipe and then continued with how to make a wonderful chicken stock.  Basically, I've been in rewind for the last two posts and now I'm finally getting to the first recipe of the bunch!



Making your own vegetable stock is easy and budget-friendly, while making your dishes tasting even more delicious and homemade.  It's great for people who need to control what is in their diet, especially for those with sodium intake concerns.  As for me, now that I've started making my own, I won't buy storebought again.  :)

Since there is no exact recipe for the vegetable broth that I make, I'm going to show you my method and share some tips.  Ready everybody?  Let's go!


Equipment

Stockpot
Strainer
Large bowl or pot to transfer broth
Ingredients (discussed below)
*A few hours to spare*

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Gather up that equipment, and you're ready to make some broth!

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Ingredients

Now here's where you're expecting to see a nice neat little list of ingredients, right?  Well, I have to admit that you won't get one, partially because I don't have one!  Here's the story on why.

Way before I started cooking regularly, I watched cooking shows.  Whatever was on Food Network at the time, I would leave on and hear the tips, but never use them.  Well, a few of them stuck, like the one I'm going to share with you now.

Rachael Ray mentioned that when you prepare your veggies for recipes, you can save the ends, peels, and ugly parts in the freezer to make a broth.  I LOVE this because it's almost like recycling!  Besides, it's super budget-friendly in that all you need to add is water and a bit of time.  Later, I heard her mention that the rinds of hard cheese are good for flavor, but I have yet to try that tip.

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So basically, what you're seeing in this broth is a mish-mosh of everything I've cooked or saved for the last week in my freezer!  What are some common ingredients?

  • Carrot peels
  • Onion ends
  • Celery roots
  • Herbs from the garden (whichever ones are most abundant at the time, usually thyme, basil, oregano, or parsley)
  • Tomatoes & peppers from the garden
  • Potato skins
  • Whatever veggies might be soon on the decline in the refrigerator, such as broccoli, cauliflower, with the yucky parts removed, if necessary


Basically, I've created my own hodgepodge version of a mirepoix plus other flavorings, but without having to use up perfectly edible veggies and throw them away!  As I chop vegetables, I throw pieces that can be used for a broth into a plastic bag and tuck it into the freezer.  As I accumulate more during the week, I just throw them into the same bag.  When it's full, I follow the directions below!

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Directions

1. Throw vegetables & herbs into the pot.

2. Add enough water to cover the vegetables plus at least an inch more.

3. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat to simmer for at least 1 hour.

Note: I always leave my stock simmering for as long as possible.  If the flavor becomes too concentrated for you, it can be diluted later.  However, the converse isn't possible, so let it simmer if you have the time!

4. When ready, turn off the heat and let cool slightly.

5. Strain your vegetables and herbs!  To make it easier, you can place all of your veggies in a cheesecloth bag and squeeze that way.

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6. Use immediately or place in large freezer-safe bags for storage.

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Simple, right?  Sometimes I think we complicate things by making them seem like they're an exact science, but that's what's so great about cooking.  I have yet to make a terrible vegetable broth, so try it out for yourself.  Since my love of soup is pretty obvious, I'll carry on making this until I have no space in my freezer!  That'll take a while since I use it as quickly as I make it.  :)

What kitchen staple do you make from scratch?




14 comments:

  1. I make my own vegetable stock too. I save all those trimmings in a ziplock bag in the freezer. But I heard a chef in a class I took once say no potatoes. She said it caused the broth to be cloudy and bitter.? Just a note. Enjoyed your post.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa


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  2. That's true! I actually don't use many potatoes, so it rarely makes it into my broth. It will make the broth to be cloudy and a bit thicker due to the starch. However, I don't know that it makes it bitter, as I never have too much in my pot. I've read that people will make "potato broth," because it achieves the flavor that they're going for in certain recipes. Thanks for pointing this out to my readers! :)

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  3. My mom used potato water when making bread. I wish I had asked her about those things she did when she baked. She never wrote anything down.

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  4. It definitely makes it hard for those of us who want to recreate our mom's homemade recipes!

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  5. I make my own veggie stock too! I love it. I always end up using different veggies, depending on what's in my fridge. I like to make a goal of having 11 or 12 different ingredients. Sometimes, I make it, but sometimes not so much. :)

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  6. Wow! 11 or 12 would be hard for me, since I probably stick to the same six or so on the shopping list. I'm sure your broth has an amazing depth of flavor!

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  7. This looks amazing! I just found you over at Tuesday Talent Show and would love for you to come share at my From the Farm Blog Hop! It's a fun party that's just getting started for this week.

    http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com/2013/08/from-farm-blog-hop.html

    Lisa

    Fresh Eggs Daily

    www.fresh-eggs-daily.com

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  8. Love it! I use the ends of veggies to make my broth too! Happy Wednesday!


    Danielle

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  9. What a fantastically fabulous idea! I love it! I am definitely going to pin this and try this! :)

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  10. Love it! :) I've been meaning to try my hand at homemade broths again after a recent disaster! I spent all day making chicken stock & put it in freezer bags and into the freezer. A few minutes later I walked back into my kitchen and the both had leaked out of the bags and freezer and all over the floor! There were tiny holes in ALL the bags! :( I was so upset! lol I've not had the heart to try making it again since, but your vegetable broth looks so enticing! I just might save some veggies & give it a go! Also, I followed you here from the link party with A Glimpse Inside & i'd like to invite you to link up with me at Tasty Tuesdays: http://goo.gl/c0vwvN

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  11. Please do! Super easy and you'll definitely taste the difference. :)

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  12. Ugh! What a mess! I had a similar story because I recently made some veggie and chicken stock, which I was emptying into the freezer bags. I was putting down the stockpot and the bag tipped over into the sink and the stock literally went down the drain! I only ended up with about 1/3 of my original stock. At least it wasn't something that took a ton of effort to make. :)

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  13. Thanks for sharing this great post with Full Plate Thursday, have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  14. What a great idea! Thanks for the tip. Visiting from Sweet & Savoury Sunday.

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I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)

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