Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homemade Vegetable Broth

I have been longing for soup all winter. Until this weekend, I've been too lazy to make broth and I could never bring myself to buy broth from a store...I feel like need to make it so I know exactly what goes into it. Also, I think it's romantic to make your own broth and terribly satisfying! I love seeing the product of my labour sitting in my freezer...ready for whenever I need it.

To make my broth, I used the tips given from this recipe for Basic Vegetable Broth and a recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine as the guide for my ingredients. Here goes...

Vegetable Broth
(adapted from November/December edition of Vegetarian Times)

  • 1-2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2-3 leeks, washed and chopped (just the bottoms)
  • 3 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large potato, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or more...I think I ended up adding like 6, it smells so good)
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 cups of water
NOTE: I also added a whole bunch of vegetable scraps I had sitting in my freezer (it included asparagus and broccoli stems and extra brussels sprout leaves). I had been accumulating them in a freezer bag with broth making in mind, because I hate waste...and I kind of see broth as a garbage disposal, of sorts...for food...for lack of better descriptor. I must admit, however, I mostly got the idea when I was watching Chef at Home and he said something along the lines of not throwing away his asparagus stems because there's still plenty of flavour to be had, making them perfect for soup. I also added the water used to soak my almonds (I read it is very full of I figured, why not). This is obviously not necessary, but a good way to not waste your scraps!


1. Prepare your vegetables (gather, chop and crush); the finer the chop and the more surface exposed, the more flavourful your broth will be

2. Heat butter or oil in a stockpot. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until brown (I add the garlic once the other ingredients have started the browning process, to make sure it doesn't burn).

3. I also decided to add the herbs and peppercorn towards the end of the browning, hoping it would bring out more of their flavour--it made it smell more delicious, at least.

4. Add the rest of the vegetables plus 10 cups of cool water and salt.

5. Bring the water to a boil, then let simmer for at least an hour and taste as you go.

6. When you're happy with it, strain your soup, pressing the vegetables to get as much of the liquid out of them as possible and store as you like. I divided mine in half, freezing some for later use.

NOTE: Keep in mind, you want your broth to be fairly neutral in taste, so don't worry if it doesn't knock your socks off with flavour. Don't go crazy with the salt because a less salty broth makes it easier to control the amount of salt and flavouring when it comes to making your actual soup recipe. You want your soup to taste like soup, not just your broth!

So...that's about it...TAH DAAAH!


  1. OH YUM!! I kept meaning to make this vegetable broth recipe but I keep forgetting to buy fresh herbs. It looks SO GOOD! Did you eat all the vegetables and things you used for flavouring the broth? Delicious??

  2. James ate all the potato, haha, and said it was good. We tried a few of the others, but mostly we just threw them out. They were pretty well mush and zapped of all flavour and nutrients by the end of the process.


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