Thursday, January 18, 2007

Homemade Veggie Broth

For a year now I've been making my own veggie broth. Not from any recipe, mind you, but in the most frugal way possible. We are composters here at the EcoMama-Beo household, but our veggie trimmings get another life before worm food. It's all quite simple. All of my veggies get a quick rinse before I start peeling, chopping, dicing, or shredding. (Yes, even good organic produce needs washing, folks!) Any good bits that are left over get thrown into a Ziploc bag that I keep in the freezer. Garlic bulb ends, onion trimmings, the outer leaves of cabbage, the ends of mushrooms, carrot peelings, root vegetable greens, celery leaves- it all goes in. Nothing moldy or particularly icky, but I will throw in the occasional handful of spinach that's become a bit too wilted for salad, or a few pieces of limp celery. When the bag gets full, I dump it all into a pot. I use my pasta pot that has a built-in, removable collander. This makes the end stage particularly easy. The veggies get covered with filtered water, and you bring the lot to a healthy simmer. I add in whatever herbs we have in plenty. Today it was a big handful of frostbitten thyme and a few bay leaves. Now I've had some parsnipy or cabbageful batches that didn't smell too pretty, but today I had a great mix. After simmering for about an hour, the house smelled heavenly. I turned off the burner and let it steep a bit longer. Then I pulled out the collander of veggies, and poured the resulting broth through a strainer and into bowls to cool. The remaining veggie trimmings can of course be composted. You can add salt if you wish, but I choose not to since I can add it later in the cooking process if need be.

This gives me 6 quarts of fabulously rich, tasty organic veggie broth. We go through a lot between soup, rice, etc. in our veggie household. The equivalent Whole Foods 365 Organic Vegetable Broth is about $2/quart. With this home method, I rarely have to purchase any broth at all--a big improvement over the 3 quarts I used to buy on each grocery trip. Every little bit counts!

1 comment:

fahrenheit said...

Exactly what I do! And . . . ditto with the kid clothes. I have the same issue with my little girl (3).