It has been a busy few weeks at the nonprofit I work for, so mostly dinner has been take out or warming up stuff out of the freezer, and plenty of veggie burgers (on buns, on tortillas, on naan), not a ton of creativity going on in the kitchen. With that in mind, my CSA share and Doorganics delivery look limp and sad, but not rotting in my fridge, I decided to get ahead of the game and make veg broth to store in my freezer for the upcoming soup season. Making your own veg broth is cheap, and a good way to use up items that are unsavory for cooking at face value but are still wonderful for a broth base. During the summer, I keep a freezer bag full of items that would make good broth like the stems of mushrooms, the tops of radishes, celery greens, washed carrot peels, the ends of onions, parsley and the like then when I get a few extra seconds, I dump it in a soup pot cover it with water, add whatever fresh herbs I have in the fridge if any, and let it boil away. I store it in 2-cup measures in freezer bags marked with the date and freeze flat, that way whenever I need a quick base for soup, I have a lightly flavored, sodium free, cheap alternative to store-bought broth. Since the consistency of the veggies doesn’t make a difference in the taste of the broth, the freezer step doesn’t hurt, I promise.
My current batch of broth has in it:
- celery greens
- portobella mushroom stems (trimmed and washed)
- red bell pepper (seeds and all)
- carrot shavings (cleaned)
- turnips, quartered
- onion ends & parts
- garlic cloves
Put all the items into a soup pot, cover with water and let it simmer away for an hour or so. Remove from heat, let cool for hours and hours, then pour into labeled freezer bags (label them before you pour into them) and freeze flat. Remember this will not have salt added as is, so when you add to soups be sure to season well.