Vegetable Broth Recipe

In moving to a more plant-based diet, I have found vegetable broth (or vegetable stock as some call it) to be indispensable. It is much quicker to prepare than its meat-based cousins, so much so that I make it one or two times a week.

I even use vegetable broth in meat dishes if I have no homemade meat stock available. It’s more to my liking than the canned chicken and meat broth I used to use.

My basic all-purpose vegetable broth uses the following ingredients:

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 carrots, well-scrubbed (or peeled) and chopped
1 leek, well-cleaned and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 or 2 large potatoes, well-scrubbed (or peeled) and cut into chunks
a few sprigs of parsley
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
4 cloves
1 tsp of salt

If I have vegetable odds and ends in my refrigerator, I add some, but not too many different kinds — I find it muddies the taste of the broth.

A sweet potato lends a lovely sweet flavor. Other sweet additions that work very nicely are peeled butternut squash (in winter) or corn cobs (in summer).

If I have mushrooms handy, I often add them, but not if I’ve gone in the sweet direction.

To cook, I put all the ingredients in a stockpot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. Then, I partially cover the pot and keep it on a simmer for an hour or an hour and a half if I have the time. When it’s done, I strain and press the vegetables in the strainer with the back of a big spoon to get the liquid out.

If I’m not planning to use the broth immediately, I cool it to room temperature, then freeze half or all in ice cube trays. When frozen, I move the cubes to covered containers. That way I can get a cube or two when I need it without the hassle of defrosting.

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4 Responses to Vegetable Broth Recipe

  1. Aliana December 30, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love making vegetable broth but haven’t tried sweet potatoes or cloves yet! If you happen to have them (or I usually go out and by them for this) parsnips add great flavor as well. Just peel and cut into large chunks.

  2. Martin February 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    I understand that Polycarbonate (or Polycarbamate) is used as a liner in most Aluminum beer and soft drink cans, and that it contains BPA. Is there any way to find out more about this, and what if any aluminum cans do NOT contain this liner? It is my understanding that the liner is designed to prevent leaching of aluminum, which happens due to the carbonic acid in carbonated beverage and which is thought to impart a funny taste to beverages. However, if the containers are leaching BPA, I think that is of even greater concern!

  3. Scott & Marianne Durdle January 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    How many cups of water do you use?

  4. Sheryl January 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Scott & Marianne — the amount of water is relative to the ingredients. Put all the ingredients into the pot, then put in enough water to cover with an inch to spare. If the water dips below the ingredients while cooking, add enough water to cover by an inch again.