Monday, October 8, 2012

VeganMoFo #8: Vegetable Stock

I've needlessly purchased cartons of vegetable broth and jars of Better Than Bouillon thousands of times. Thousands. There have been so many dollars wasted and taste buds deprived. Vegetable scraps composted before they'd been given a chance. And my only reason for buying these products is pure laziness.

Now that I'm attempting to be more conscientious about what I buy and what I make myself, I've been careful to keep a container of flavorful vegetable "waste" bits in the freezer so I can make fresh stock as needed (about once a week in this broth-addicted household).

This week's broth started with potato water (the water the potatoes were boiled in) saved from Sunday night's Thanksgiving-esque dinner. And the freezer container had a range of stray veg pieces from last week's eatings: onion, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, celery, tomatoes, herb tidbits from the garden, and carrots.

Some people get fancy and complicated with their stock, but I just throw all the vegetables in a pot of water, let it get to boiling, and then simmer it until it's nice and rich. I go by color and taste and patience level.

If I think I won't get through the whole batch within a week, I freeze the broth into ice cubes and keep them in a container in the freezer. When a meal calls for broth, I throw the cubes into the mix. Easy, peasy, and nothing goes to waste!

I love this weekly "chore" because it smells as if I'm cooking an amazing dinner even if I'm really just going to reheat leftovers at the last minute. It's so aromatic and it tastes much better to me than the store-bought varieties.


  1. I didn't expect to learn much when I saw the title of this post -- we regularly make our own broth and, in fact, T just finished a new batch tonight.

    But the ice cube trick got me! I should've thought of that -- it's a common recommendation for people who make their own baby purees and want to do it in bulk and store them in single-meal portions :)

    Tonight's broth is already near-frozen in a huge block inside a bowl... but next time!

  2. Thanks for making it look so easy! I started a broth bag but haven't done a thing with it yet. Now I will! I stopped buying the jarred vegan broth because i read hydrolized soy protein is bad.

    1. I've been on a roll with making this at least once a week. My trick is to make it on one burner while I'm cooking dinner on another. Then it doesn't feel like another "thing to do" 'cause I'm multi-tasking.

  3. Potato water! Such a good idea. J and I just made broth together this weekend, and it turned out really good - but I've always wanted to have another use for the potato water after boiling.

    I've considered buying those little silicon miniloaf pans to use to freeze broth in 1-2 cup portions, they seem to be a decent size. :)