Can you believe that I pay $2 for a can of Campbell's condensed chicken broth (non-low-sodium)? It's pretty gross stuff (and I can't get vegetable broth here, I'm lucky if I can find chicken broth). Ok, so here comes another blogger confession. I used to be afraid of making my own vegetable broth. Something about it intimidated me. Until today, thanks to Mark Bittman, the author of How to cook everything vegetarian.
The best part is, you don't have to worry about picky details, like peeling the veggies. I doubled this recipe and it made about 2.25 liters/ quarts/ 9 cups of vegetable stock.
Vegetable stocks give depth to soups, risottos, and the like. If you don't happen to have one or two of the ingredients, don't worry, it will still be better than adding water, or canned chicken stock to your dishes. You can play around with the vegetables, as well.
Simple, easy and fast vegetable stock
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 onion, quartered (don't bother to peel)
1 potato, cut into chunks
1 celery stalk, chopped
2- 3 garlic cloves (don't bother to peel)
10- 20 parsley stems (with or without leaves)
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small stockpot or saucepan with 6 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil (I did covered the stockpot). Lower the heat to medium and simmer steadily but gently. Cook for about 30 minutes (more if you can afford the time), until the vegetables are tender. Strain and adjust the seasoning before using or storing.
A personal anecdote- last summer when I visited home, dad was out fixing something in Em's yard on a hot sunny day, and I offered to get him something to drink. I went to the fridge and got out a bottle of some yummy-sounding apple cranberry or other type of juice (can't remember exactly the name). There was no top, instead, it was covered with aluminum foil and sealed with a rubber band. I figured the cap had been lost during a game the girls might have been playing. I poured my dad a glass of what looked like a very refreshing juice and took it out to him.
A few minutes later, when probably about half of it had been drunk, my dad politely asked me what type of juice it was. I responded (insert juice name)… it's quite good, he said, but I'm not sure it's juice. In that moment, Em exclaimed, "No!! That's my vegetable broth!!" Needless to say, she had made homemade stock and stored it in the juice container.