Homemade Vegetable Broth

broth

There is a sign that hangs above my head, in my office, that reads, “Happiness is Homemade”.  I love this sign for a whole variety of reasons, but probably the biggest reason is that I love homemade, just about everything, over store bought anything.  You could put two cookies in front of me in a blind taste test and I guarantee

(yes I did just say gua*rawn*tee in my best Colonel Sanders voice)

I would pick the homemade one every time.

There is just something that makes everything taste better when it has been lovingly created with someone’s hand.  There may be nothing that “homemade” spanks “store bought” more than broth or stock, be it veggie, chicken, or beef.  I would argue that there is no jar, tube, can, or box that can be purchased that has the same depth of flavor found in a homemade broth or stock.

Before I delve into the two things that are an absolute must to create great tasting broth or stock, I feel the need to take a minute and explain the difference between the broth and stock.

The word broth refers to liquid that has been made by simmering meat and veggies together.  If I add in bones to that liquid to simmer, then I have made stock.  Although, they both have their place, stock will have a richer deeper flavor than broth.

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To sum up:

Broth = No Bones

Stock = Bones

Whew!  So happy we are all on the same page.  Now on to the important stuff.  There are two critical things that you need to have if you are going to make awesome tasting stock or broth.

  1. Quality Ingredients:  Fresh herbs, lots of veggies, and the perfect seasoning are a must when it comes to the perfect stock or broth.  These additions are what will give it its character.  Experiment with flavors, but keep away from flavors that will be too overpowering.  Some examples are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.

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  1. Time:  Don’t mistake the word time with the word effort.  Making homemade broth or stock is extremely easy, like simplistic easy, but it needs time to marinate.  Just like you wouldn’t just throw a bunch of children on a playground and instantly expect them to be BFF’s; the different flavors that each of your ingredient’s bring to the pot need time to make nice.

 

That is it!  Those are the only two things that you need to make amazing broth or stock yourself.  But wait there’s more…

Extra Benefits

I mentioned that the taste of homemade is worth trying your hand at making your own broth or stock, but there are a couple of additional benefits that I want to share with you before I send you on your way to print out this recipe.

The first benefit is the cost.  Since the base of this broth is made with water, the cost per unit is significantly lower than if you were to purchase it yourself.  More than likely you already have an onion, some carrots, and celery somewhere in your pantry, which leaves you the room to purchase a few extra veggies to try in your recipe.

The last benefit I want to share with you has to do with the sodium level of your broth.  Sodium levels are something that are always in the front of my mind.  The box brand that I had been using has 570mg of sodium in every box.  By making the broth or stock myself, I can control the amount of sodium that goes into our food.  Not only does it taste better, but it is better for us.  I call that a win.

Once my broth is completed, I separate it out into plastic containers and store them in the freezer.  I found these containers on Amazon and they work great.  http://amzn.to/2fZbhOw

If you are looking for a great way to use some of your freshly made vegetable stock, our Spicy Tomato Soup  recipe is a great place to start!

 

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 60 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 8 oz. Portobello Mushrooms, cut in half
  • 1 Onion, cut into large chunks
  • 4 Stalks Celery, cut into chunks
  • 4 Carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 Small fennel bulb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Ginger
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Pepper
  • Herb Bundle: A few sprigs each of Rosemary, Thyme, Dill, and Parsley
  • 4 Quarts of Water

Directions

  1. Heat oil in the bottom of a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots, fennel, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, lemon, salt, and pepper. Sautee until vegetables have begun to soften, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the herb bundle and the water to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.
  3. Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into storage containers. Allow stock to cool completely before covering. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipe Notes

**Do not stir your stock while it is cooking for best results. Stirring will break down the starches in the vegetables faster and will result in cloudy stock. **This recipe could easily be adapted to make chicken stock or broth just by adding in 2.5 lbs. chicken pieces to the pot and cooking for 45 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve for a different meal. Continue cooking for 1 additional hour. Skim the fat off the top of the pot throughout the cooking time. Follow the finishing and packaging process as described above.

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