Archive for the ‘reuse’ Tag

Easiest Vegetable Broth   1 comment

When I first started making soups from scratch and buying grains from the bulk bin, I went through a lot of tetra-packed vegetable broth. That got expensive. It’s about $3 for 32 oz., or four cups of broth. This recipe is an easy way to make broth, and take advantage of vegetable scraps you would have otherwise thrown away.

Collecting the scraps is easy as long as you remember to put them in the freezer.
20130106-191307.jpg

Take a sharpie and ziploc bag. Write “broth” on the outside of the bag. When you are making meals take the tops, ends, and skins (really any part that you are going to throw away) of celery, carrots, onions, shallots, potatoes, and garlic, and put them in the broth bag. You could try using tomatoes as well, but only the fruit. The leaves and stems will make you sick. There are probably some other vegetables you might like as well. I do not add any vegetables from the Brassicaceae family, because they are bitter, and will make your broth bitter. The Brassicaceae family includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, radishes and many more. I have never used spinach or beet greens, but those are in the Amaranthaceae family and might be okay.

So, when you have some spare time and about 1.5 cups of vegetable scraps you can make your broth. The broth takes less time to make if you chop the vegetables up before freezing them, but it shouldn’t take too long to cut them if you were feeling lazy. You will want to chop the veggies into really tiny pieces. The greater the surface area (the smaller the pieces), the better the broth will taste and the less time it will need to cook. Alternatively, you might try tossing everything in the food processor, but I think this might make straining difficult. I’ll try this next time and add an update.

20130106-191346.jpg
After the vegetables are cut, add them to a large sauce pan with 10 cups of water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a roaring boil. Turn the heat to medium and watch three episodes of South Park. My broth cooked for 1 hour, 20 minutes including the time it took for the water to boil. You may or may not need to cook for longer depending on the vegetables you used.

I tried the broth after it had been cooking for 35 minutes and it tasted strongly of celery. Then I tried it at one hour and I could taste the onion it, but it was faint. At 1 hour, 15 minutes I thought it needed just a little longer and it was perfect five minutes later.

You’ll have to taste the broth a few times to get it to a flavor that you like.

Take a strainer and put it inside of a pitcher (can use a bowl, but really not very good for this). Pour the broth from the pan, through the strainer, and into the pitcher. Put the leftover veggies in your compost (or the trash, if you must). Take an empty jar (I use old whiskey bottles, which hold 3 cups of liquid) and put a funnel at the top. Pour the broth from the pitcher into the bottle. Store in your refrigerator. Alternatively, store in your freezer and just take out two nights before you plan to use it, or when you run out. If you plan to freeze it, make sure the bottle is only 2/3-3/4 full.

20130106-191453.jpg
In total, this recipe made between five and six cups of broth. I only got five because I used a bowl instead of a pitcher and about a cup spilled all over the counter and the floor. It took about an hour of passive time, and about ten minutes of active time. Really easy, really delicious.

I don’t add salt to my broth. I salt dishes as I cook them. But if you do want to add some, do it at the end, when the flavor is where you want it. Adding salt in the beginning might be deceiving in terms of taste.

____________ UPDATE! February 1, 2013_____________________________
Last weekend I made more vegetable broth. I threw the vegetables in the food processor beforehand, and I’m going to do that from now on, because it didn’t make straining more difficult, and made the flavor even better.

My broth turned out slightly spicy. I’m not positive, but I think it’s because I added carrot greens this time, unlike the time before. Next time I will not add them and see what happens. The spiciness didn’t make the broth bad, it was just an unexpected end note. I guess I’ll have to have a taco night and see if it gives an extra kick to the rice. My rice cooker is still broken so I will try to find soon.

Posted January 6, 2013 by deeats in Soups and Stews

Tagged with , , , ,