Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beautiful Vegetable Broth!

It's common for me to toss little snippets of veggies straight into the compost bowl as I cook, but when the bowl gets full (and for some reason it always seems full), sometimes I remember to save these pieces for broth. Carrot peels, celery tops, onion skins, leek greens, leftover bits of garlic from the garlic press, and parsley stems, can be transformed into absolutely luxurious, mineral rich base for soup and sauces.
The first thing is to grab a produce bag, and designate it for vegetable odds and ends while you cook. You can store it in the bottom bin of your fridge until you have a pretty good amount. The rest is so easy you'll laugh!

Beautiful Vegetable Broth: (anything works, this is just an example)
*4 carrots (that you forgot you had and are a bit past their 4 limp carrots that is).
*some onion peels
*whole garlic or garlic pulp from press
*celery hearts, tops and ends
*a little bundle of parsley, (also a bit past prime)
*leek tops
*any other veggie scrap or herb that you like the taste of (including thyme, rosemary, or bay leaf)
*sea salt
*ground pepper
*splash of white vinegar

Add all the veggies to a large pot. Add about 5-7 cups of water depending on how much scrap you have and the splash of vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 3 hours. After an hour or two, begin to break up the veggies a bit with a wooden spoon, especially any carrot or celery pieces. Salt and pepper. Continue to simmer. Once broth begins to deepen in color, add about 2-3 Tbsp high quality butter. Simmer until broth tastes good and rich. Remove from heat.
Place a strainer over a large bowl. Strain, separating vegetable matter from liquid. Press any excess liquid from the vegetable matter. Cool liquid and store in freezer safe containers or return to the pot for soup.

*Serves as a gentle, soothing meal for upset bellies or when feeling a little under the weather. Also great reduced further for sauces or as a base for almost any kind of soup. You can also use this broth when cooking rice or grain dishes in place of water for more flavor. Enjoy!

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