Making a batch of vegetable broth is a great way to use extra veggies before they go bad and capture in-season flavors for use throughout the winter. I always try to keep a few jars of it in the freezer as a base for lentil, chicken, or bean soups, which we eat all winter long.
Making a batch takes less than an hour of active prepping, cooking, and cleaning time, makes the house smell great, and tastes better than what you can buy in the store.
(If you are wondering about the difference between stock and broth, The Kitchn reports that the difference is seasoning. Broth includes seasoning, stock does not.)
- Wash veggies.
- Fit them in a pot, breaking them in half if needed.
- Add seasonings. I recommend salt, pepper, bay leaves, and thyme.
- Cover with water and simmer for 90 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Let cool, strain, and store.
Use whatever veggies you want, would put in a soup, and need to use. I usually toss in carrots (tops included), celery (or celeriac), onion, garlic, and peppers, then add in whatever else I have on hand. This time that was fennel and rainbow chard. Sometimes I like to add mushrooms, tomatoes, turnips, parsnips, or leeks.
You don’t need to do much prep to the vegetables besides washing them. I don’t peel them or remove any tops. Just scrub the dirt off of them and toss them in a pot. Stir the pot occasionally and break up the larger vegetables as they cook down. If you included anything strong like fennel, take it out halfway through to keep it from overpowering the other flavors.
After the pot cools, strain your broth into containers and freeze them. I use Ball jars because I have dozens sitting around, but tupperware works just fine.
We like to use vegetable broth as a base for all kinds of soups throughout the fall and winter, but it is also nice to sip on if you have a cold.
What do you like to put in your broths? Let me know in the comments!