Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vegan veggie broth - Homemade all the way

I cannot believe I have never bothered to make my own veggie stock before. Well tonight was the night. I am planning a week of cooking since I have been out of town for a while, it is time to get back on it. Part of my prep for this was to get my hands on some decent veggie broth.

Store bought vegetable broth is not the best for you. It is full of preservatives, sodium, and sometimes, non vegan items. I have tried the organic stuff and really it was no better. Last week I had high hopes of cooking and just never got it together, so I had left over vegetables on the verge of going to bad... the recipe for home made stock!

I don't know if there is a really good recipe for veggie stock. My question was, how do I know if I used enough veggies to water? Well, I think the answer fill the stock pot as much as you can and you can't go wrong. Here is my recipe:

Veggie Stock
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped or baby carrots
  • celery
  • parsnips
  • handful of spinach
  • chopped parsley
  • sprigs of thyme
  • sprigs of rosemary
  • basil stems (I had just made pesto)
  • Onion, quartered
  • Leek, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • bay leaves
  • sage
  • Liquid Smoke (optional, I used.. well.. because I had it.)
  • Soy Sauce (optional, if you like a darker broth and more salt)
So as you can see, I cleared out the fridge and some of my spices too. I basically chopped in big chunks all the veggies and threw them in the pot. I filled it with water and brought it to a boil. I then let it simmer while I watched a movie (so about 2 hours or so). Strain the vegetables et voila - Stock!

I froze some into an ice cube tray for later and the rest is in the fridge, waiting to be used in risotto tomorrow. One thing I would do differently next time is I would get some olive oil and brown some of the veggies before starting the stock. I think this would help make an even deeper flavour. I will update when I use this in a recipe, but on a taste test, it is great. My stock is quite dark looking because I threw in some Soy Sauce at the end. Most recipes say to simmer for an hour or so, but I think the longer, the better.

If you have a boring night at home, give this a try. What's to lose? Other than maybe  a way to use left over veggies that would otherwise go to waste.

Oh and remember, don't stick to the recipe. Use what ever you have around. I don't think you can go wrong with this one. It's your chance to be creative; rick-free!

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