Vegetable Broth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-23-2014, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A couple of years ago, Cooks Illustrated magazine had an article about how veggie broth is made from waste scraps that are close to inedible...and then covered up with flavors, salt, and preservatives. Even the organic ones are guilty of this practice and have an inferior taste to them.

Recipes for vegetable broth usual contain a long ingredients list, and I rarely have everything it calls for. One time, I tried to save my own scraps and peeling, and then add some whole vegetables, and it tasted really watery!

Is there some way to make a delicious vegetable broth using whatever veggies are on hand? Is there some proportion that I need to get right with onion, garlic, seasonings, etc.? Do any of you roast the veggies first? I'm a huge fan of soup and would appreciate some tips!

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Old 04-23-2014, 05:41 PM
 
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I do remember reading recently that the ratio for onion-carrot-celery "should" be 2:1:1 by weight, and I think I've also heard a pound of veggies to 1 gallon of water for a ratio.  I know many people use the "save scraps in bag in freezer, cover with water and simmer for an hour" method.  I've tried it, but I don't like that variability of the final result. 

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Old 04-24-2014, 12:51 PM
 
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I save up vegetable scraps (onions, carrots, garlic, root vegetables, greens etc) in a container in the frig for a week or so until I have about 4 cups. I put them in a pot with some oil, discarding anything that is going bad, and saute for 5-10 minutes or so until they are fragrant and the color deepens. Then add 8 cups of water, simmer for 30 minutes, strain and end up with 6 cups of stock.

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Old 04-24-2014, 12:58 PM
 
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I haven't ventured into making veggie broth yet, just chicken bone broth which I add my veggie scraps to and I do it in the crock pot...prob too much time for veggie only though!  I'd guess a pretty large volume of veggies would be needed for he flavor to be there.  I know ACV helps draw everything out in bone broths so might help w veggie as well.

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Old 04-24-2014, 01:26 PM
 
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I always go for the magic onion carrot celery combination too, whether I am doing bone, meat or veggie broth. Then greens off root veggies or cauliflower, the outer leaves of cabbage heads, broccoli stems, whatever. Dont always have celery in the house though. I do notlike using peel, I can always taste the dirt and sand in the soup. You could add potatoes for a bit of body. I usually have canned tomato paste in the house but as soon as you add that its tomato soup I find its just that dominant. Sometimes I want tomato soup sometimes I dont. No middle ground there really. I also like adding ginger and garlic if Ive got it. And yes, I like sauteeing the onions and other aromatic ingredients in butter before boiling. Whats ACV stand for - vinegar? Interesting idea, might try deglazing with some balsamico next time, the way I do with bone broth or meat sauces.

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Old 04-24-2014, 01:55 PM
 
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There's a great recipe for vegetable broth in the "Oh She Glows Cookbook" from Angela Liddon. I'm not at home now, but I made it a few weeks ago and I recall it having more onion and garlic than I usually use and a tomato (which I'd never put in before). It's worth checking the book out at the library to get the recipe--I don't see it on her website.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:58 PM
 
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ACV = apple cider vinegar

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Old 04-24-2014, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See? I didn't even know there was a rule to the proportions. duh.gif Thank you! I've heard of adding turmeric as a coloring and flavoring, too, so I may experiment a little with that.

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:49 PM
 
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Let's bear in mind that onion and celery are chief flavouring ingredients of soups, but to thicken, I always add a potato. Because of its starch content, it's a natural thickener. By all means roast tomatoes or even part-dry them in the oven to bring out the flavour. Roasting peppers the same way is a lovely addition if they're on hand. I'll come back to that in a mo. :)

 

I'm not sure if you'd want to use Marigold vegetable boullion, but I always have a tin of it on permanent standby. You only need a little to boost the flavour. Anyway, you requested a standard vegetable soup made from bits and bobs, so this is my basic.

 

1 chopped onion

1 chopped carrot

1 potato, chopped

2 sticks celery

3 cloves garlic, whole

2 bay leaves if you have them

scant 6 cups of water. You may need a little more

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Put them altogether into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to simmer for at least an hour, by which time the soup should be smelling nicely. Remove the bay leaves and there you have your basic broth. Some strain the vegetables, but I can't be bothered.

 

~ * ~

 

Back to roasting the tomatoes. Very easy.

 

First, heat the oven to 120°C\250°F gas mark ½.

 

Halve 2lbs of tomatoes, remove the core and de-seed them. This intensifies their flavour. Place them skin side down on a lined baking sheet and put in the oven to dry for 2½ hours. Open the oven door every 30-60 minutes to allow moisture to escape. To the tomatoes you could add a tiny pinch of dried herbs, but it's up to you.

 

Roasting peppers: Use red, yellow or orange peppers here.

 

The normal method of roasting a pepper is place them whole over coals. This creates perfectly cooked, juicy flesh, but removing the seeds is a faff. Instead I cut them into quarters and then roast in the oven with a little olive oil and salt. No seed problems with this method, but by the time the skin is charred, the flesh has nicely dried out. I don't grill peppers because the skin chars far too quickly leaving the pepper far too crunchy.

 

Cut the peppers into quarters lengthways and remove seeds and white bits.
Rub with olive oil and a little salt and place skin down on a baking tray. Roast for 20 mins in a 190 C oven.
Afterwards, put the hot peppers into a bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.

Once done, peel the peppers and discard the skin. You can then add them to your basic vegetable broth to jazz up the flavour.

 

Optional, but accompanying your soup with some nice crunchy seeded wholewheat toast is very satisfying.

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