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A blog about cooking and food, and how to make it taste good and be healthy. The dishes are almost all gluten/dairy free, and many are vegetarian. The focus is on techniques and ingredients over recipes - this is about everyday cooking, and that means making it work with whats on hand!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Making homemade broth has a reputation for being a long and difficult process.  This is true for meat broths, as it takes a lot of time for the collagen and other proteins to break down.  You don't have to worry about this in vegetable broth, and you only need to simmer for about an hour.  By making your own, you can control the flavors, the amount of salt, and whether the ingredients are organic.



The way I do it takes a little of foresight - saving vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer.  Onion bits, mushroom stems, pepper tops, asparagus ends, all go into the bag to be used when it fills up.
This bag has some mushroom bits, a bunch a asparagus (it was going to go bad when I went out of town), stems from various greens and herbs, carrot tops, turnip tops, okra, and probably some other stuff.  I also added about a dozen peppercorns.  You could also add ginger, onions, bay leaf etc.

Throw it in a big pot and boil, then simmer for about an hour.  That's it!
Remove the vegetables, and if you want to concentrate it (so it takes up less room in the fridge/freezer, or to intensify the flvor), keep it boiling until there's less.
In this batch, the flavor of the asparagus really came through (a good thing!).  I've noticed that cabbage/bok choy give a sweet flavor, and have heard that broccoli makes it nasty (which I haven't felt the need to verify).  I don't add salt until I use it, so each dish gets the appropriate amount of salt.

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