Did you ever wonder why beef broth is the base for so many vegetable soups? Never? I mean it’s right up there with wondering why the sky is blue, isn’t it? Not for you?
Oh well. I wonder about it. If every other ingredient in your soup is plant based, why not the broth? I think a vegetable soup tastes funny with a chicken broth or a beef broth base. I like my men funny and my soups vegetable! That’s just how it is.
Making your own vegetable broth is a good way to use up leftover vegetables. You know those vegetables? The ones that linger around in your vegetable drawer after you’ve cooked up your planned recipe. You won’t eat them if they’re just sitting there like boring old plain vegetables. Ugh! Do something. Quick. Before they rot.
- 10 cups filtered water
- 2 or 3 carrots, washed, unpeeled, roughly chopped
- 2 or 3 celery stalks, washed, ends trimmed, leaves on, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 large sprigs of parsley, whole
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or left whole
- 2 cups (or 2 large handfuls) baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns or ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Place the water in a large stock pot and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce water to simmer.
- Add all ingredients and simmer everything for 30 minutes to an hour, depending how potent you want the broth.
- Strain broth through a semi-fine strainer into a storage container.
- Store in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. Store in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.
My advice: Forget store-bought vegetable broth. It’s expensive, salty and strong. It’s too strong. I like my men strong and my broth mellow. (I know. I can’t stop.)
And keep in mind, this recipe is versatile. Substitute spinach for kale, bok choy or chard. Use leeks, shallots, green onions or chives instead of onions. Add other herbs from your garden, depending what you like. Just be careful of strong flavors like fennel or rosemary. Use your head! Start wondering! Get cooking!