Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vegetable Broth or Stock

A very simple way to boost the health benefits (not to mention the flavor) of your soup, while saving money is to stash your veggie scraps and make your own vegetable broth! Keep a gallon size freezer bag or large glass jar in your fridge or freezer and place your vegetable scraps in it throughout the week.  Some examples of scraps great for broths:

onion and garlic tops, bottoms and skins
kale, swiss chard and other green stalks
ends of celery (just a little)
apples and pears
tomato tops and bottoms
parsley stems
spinach stems
lettuce stems
pea pods
zucchini tops
carrot tops and peelings
pepper tops and seeds
potato peelings
pumpkin/winter squash peelings
prunes (adding a few gives the stock a rich, almost meaty flavor)

When you are ready to make your broth, fill a large stockpot with double the amount of water as the amount of scraps you’ll be adding. Cabbage family vegetables and celery have strong flavors, so use sparingly. Eggplant will make it bitter, and avoid citrus rinds and banana peels. Heat to boil and then simmer 1-6 hours, adding water if needed and your favorite herbs, if desired.   Let cool and then strain out veggie pieces with a colander or cheesecloth.  Save broth in the fridge or freezer for future use or use immediately to make your favorite soup. It is also possible to can your homemade stock, as long as you use a pressure canner. 

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