Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Homemade Vegetable Broth
HOMEMADE VEGETABLE STOCK is a cinch to make and virtually free to use. It adds depth of flavor and a boost in nutrition to anything you cook. It can be used for cooking grains, beans, making soups, of course, and also for cooking other vegetables. No cans of commercially prepared broth or stock to purchase. It tastes great, chilled, for a refreshing and restorative beverage.
Simply save, in the refrigerator, all the trimmings from the vegetables you use for a few days. Peelings, skins, trimmed ends from carrots and celery, papery skins from onions and garlic, stems from spinach and herbs, membranes from bell peppers, potato peels, apple cores, and lettuces all make delicious ingredients for broth.
I am very picky when it comes to prepping vegetables as I want them all to look perfect and beautiful. Saving the parts that are blemished and don't pass muster for plating, helps me feel exonerated from wastefulness.
For this batch, I used:
Spinach stems and a few leaves
Garlic stem, peels, and inner small cloves
Shallot that no longer felt crisp and fresh
Peel and trimmings from fresh ginger
Celery stem ends and some leaves
Red and green bell pepper tops and membranes
Carrot stems and peels
Red onion skins and outer layer
Sea salt and peppercorns
Cover vegetables with fresh spring water and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, and remove from heat. Let the vegetables steep for about 15 minutes. Overcooking will make stock bitter, just like overcooking vegetables will. Experiment with different vegetables and herbs keeping in mind what you are likely to use the stock for.
Taste the stock and adjust seasonings, if desired. Strain and keep refrigerated.