Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My First Vegetarian/Vegan Offering!

My step-father worked for the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California in the 60‘s. He was great friends with the chefs (of course) and he popped into the kitchen often for a nibble of whatever dish they were working on. Once, he saw one of the Chefs cooking vegetable ends and pieces in a large pot. The parts most of us discard in the trash. When my step-father ask him about it, he said it was what made his soups and dishes so delicious. He made his stock with the gnarly ends of the carrots, cabbage cores, onion, turnip and parsnip peelings and stems of herbs. They were cleaned immaculately before use and made the best broth ever. He prepared meat and seafood broths using parts we would normally discard, as well. My point here is, if you are up to it, keep a plastic zip lock in the refrigerator, wash and throw in your peels, ends and pieces of vegetables and even stems of fresh herbs too. When you are ready to make broth, pitch them in. If need be, throw them in the freezer for use later. You’ll save money and come away with some pretty awesome broth to boot!

If you are making this to have on hand, freeze broth in ice cube trays and plastic containers. When they are frozen you can transfer to zip lock bags and refill with more and freeze again, so you have plenty on hand.

In another post I will give delicious beef and chicken broth recipes. But this is a broth anyone can use. : D

Pure Homemade Vegetable Broth/Stock (without all the YUK!)

4 to 6 quarts of water
2 large onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
½ head of cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 can of tomatoes, diced or stewed (read label, but most are fine or use equivalent of fresh, diced)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 nice handful of fresh parsley or any fresh or dried herbs you like
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a large stock pot. Slowly bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 3 hours. Watch water levels and add more if needed. When broth is ready, strain through a colander or sieve. Use for soups or any recipes that require broth. This is a delicious broth for vegans or anyone wanting fresh broth without all the MSG and preservatives.

Cooks notes: Any vegetable is optional, however, unless you are allergic to a vegetable, keep it in the recipe. You will only taste a medley of wonderful flavor. Omitting vegetables like onions, celery and garlic will leave you with less flavor. You can add any combination of vegetables you like (with the exception of potatoes or other starches) in this broth. My experience is the more, the merrier! And you can certainly add your favorite herbs and spices.  This is a great replacement for milk (if vegan or lactose intolerant) or water in mashed potatoes. It also adds delicious flavor to casseroles, rice, noodles and stuffing.