I use vegetable broth for everything: soups, marinades, salad dressings, deglazing the pan, stir fries, cooking grains, and more. I often bring back bags of powdered or cubed vegetable broth from home, since here in China only the MSG filled broth is available. Even though I buy mine organic with less sodium and no nasty additives, it still really bothers me that I can’t have a homemade version. So today I gave it a try: making vegetable broth from scratch. I think it was a bit of a mission, but the result was super delicious. I have filled it into little glass jars to keep in fridge for the coming week to make soups. And the rest I have frozen in small jars, so I can add it in portions as I need. Another great option would be to freeze it in ice cube trays and then add to a pan when needed. I think there are many variations that can be tasty, but I wanted a simple vegetable broth that wasn’t too overpowering with only one vegetable.
The important thing is to chop your vegetables properly. The smaller they are, the more surface area there is for the flavors to cook out and into the broth.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
For about 2.5 liters of broth:
8 mushrooms (I used a mix of white button and shitake), chopped
8 stems of Swiss chard, stems finely chopped, leaves chopped
3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or other vinegar of your choice)
5 bay leaves
1 Tbsp sea salt
Take a big pot and add the olive oil to it. Add all the vegetables and stir well. Heat over medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring. Everything should start to cook down to about half of the amount.
Add the vinegar and stir well for 2 minutes.
Add 3 liters of water and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn down to let it simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Once done, strain all the vegetables and only keep the liquid. Make sure to press the vegetables to get all the liquid out. Add salt to the liquid broth and fill it into the containers of your choice.
Bonus note: the fresh broth keeps well in the fridge for up to 1 week. The frozen broth will stay “fresh” in the freezer for about 3 months.