|Vegetable, bean and orzo soup made with homemade broth.|
This pile of vegetable scraps looks destined for the compost bin and that would be a great way to recycle the nutrients still viable in these plants. Another great way to use them is to make vegetable broth.
Using vegetable stock in soups, stews or to cook grains adds flavor and nutrients to your meals and is really simple to make. By making stock yourself you can control the amount of sodium used which can be very high in commercial broths.
Here's how I make vegetable stock.
When I plan out meals for the week or so, if I need vegetable stock I start to save scraps and keep them in a zip lock bag in the fridge. For this broth I had: leek greens, carrot tops, leaves and peel, parsnip tops, potato peels, a celery stick and onion skins. All of this goes into the pot along with some of the rosemary and thyme sprigs I had dried from the garden. A couple of bay leaves and two crushed garlic cloves round out the seasoning.
Lastly, I add a hand of re-hydrated porcini mushrooms. Re-hydrating the mushrooms involves just soaking them in hot water for ten minutes. I add these to the pot along with almost all the liquid, which is very flavorful. Porcini mushrooms always leave a lot of grit in the liquid, so I'm careful to leave that at the bottom of the bowl!
|No thank you!|
Add enough water to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and let the stock simmer for a couple of hours. Vegetable broth doesn't need as much time to develop as chicken broth because there are no bones to break down.
Once the stock is ready, let it cool, then strain through a fine mesh strainer and store in the fridge or freezer. When you use the stock, check to see if any particles have accumulated at the bottom of the container and avoid adding those to your recipe!
Just like the chicken stock I make, I don't add salt or pepper to this broth. Of course you can add it along with any other seasonings you like.Some of this stock was used to make a vegetable, bean and orzo soup. I love soup! It is such a great way to use up whatever you have on hand.
I made the pumpkin gingerbread today with the fresh pumpkin puree I was supposed to make the pie with yesterday, and let me tell you - well, I wont tell you! Visit me again tomorrow and I'll share the recipe. You wont be sorry.
See you in the kitchen,