Monday, January 16, 2012

Vegetable Stock

My aversion to canned soups also includes prepackaged soup broth. I just can’t stomach it. I like to make a lot of soups in the fall and winter and freeze servings so that we can enjoy quick dinners after work or after a day of skiing. So, in preparation for all that soup making, I make big batches of vegetable and chicken broth to keep on hand in the freezer.

Here is my recipe for veggie broth, which I prefer over the chicken broth because it is a lot easier and less mess and it tastes great. I like to freeze different quantities in mason jars (we have a ton from the wedding) – just don’t fill them too far or they will crack in the freezer. I can easily thaw what I will need for the particular recipe that I'm using. This recipe is easily assembled and will really strengthen the taste of any soup you make - depth, body and character unmatched by any water-based soup according to Rebar. This recipe makes about 14 cups of broth.

Basic Vegetable Broth
From Rebar Modern Food Cookbook

1 Tsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, greens only, coarsely chopped (and washed really well)
1 garlic bulb, separated and smashed
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
4 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
1 apple, quartered
4 bay leaves
1 Tbs whole black peppercorns
1 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs sea salt
6 sprigs fresh parsley, thyme and/or sage
20 cups cold water
Note: Use organic vegetables if you can. According to the Rebar, vegetable stocks are more subtle than meat stocks so top-notch ingredients are essential.

Heat oil in a large stock pot and add onions, leeks, carrots, celery, salt and bay leaves.  Saute for five minutes, stirring often. Add all of the remaining ingredients, including the water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain and cool if not using immediately. Store in the refrigerator up to three days, or in the freezer up to two months.

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