It’s the first day of Spring – be still my heart. It’s my favorite season of the year and I’m just dreaming about my gardens.
The boys and I have started our seeds indoors, mapped out our new garden plans, and are starting to think about which new breed of chickens we’d like to add to our flock this year.
It’s the season of life and although the temperatures are still frigid outdoors, knowing its officially Spring brings feelings of rejuvenation, hope, and happiness.
Let me tell ya, these are seriously the feelings you get after being indoors for so many months.
Knowing that it’s Spring time, I wanted to share with you my rich and flavorful, homemade vegetable broth recipe. It’s during this season of growth and into the summer that I tend to make more vegetable broth than chicken.
My family works very hard to grow our vegetables during the growing season. So, with a motto of waste not; the ends, bits, peels, and scraps of my vegetables, and herbs are saved for broth or go to my chickens and compost pile.
I’ve learned that many people are under the assumption that vegetable broth isn’t as flavorful or complex as chicken or beef broth. As you can tell from the picture above, the vegetable broth I make is rich and flavorful and turns out to a beautiful golden color typical of a long, and slow simmered chicken broth.
In order to get these flavors, my stock is started by sauteing onions, celery, and carrots then sweating them to the point of caramelization.
I like to caramelize the onions until they turn golden brown which draws out every hint of sweetness.
I then add 3 quarts of water and any bits, pieces, and scraps of vegetables I saved over the week. I also make sure to add any hidden vegetables pieces, which parts of a whole have served me well.
The pot is then brought to a boil, covered, and simmered for about 1 1/2 hours.
To finish it off, once the broth has simmered and become everything good that it can be, I add aromatics to make it that much more. In this broth I’ve added the stems of parsley, which hold just as much flavor as its leaves, and fresh fennel sprigs.
Fennel, parts of its bulb and sprigs, create the best tasting vegetable broth. At this point, I turn off the heat and allow the herbs to give of themselves for about a half hour.
This broth tastes deep, rich, and flavorful. I store it in my refrigerator where I use it frequently in rice dishes and simple soups. A vegetable broth like this is sure to make you happy knowing that something good has come from something so easily discarded.
From scraps, bits, and ends to a rich and flavorful, homemade vegetable broth.
- 2 onions, sliced 1/4"
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs celery, roughly chopped
- 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 3 quarts water
- 3 large cups, extra vegetable pieces (bits, ends, and scraps)
- Stems of one bunch of parsley
- Fennel Sprigs (optional but encouraged)
- In a stockpot, bring 2 tbls of extra virgin olive oil to heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until the onions just begin to turn transparent.
- Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and sweat for 30 minutes or until the onions caramelize and turn a nice golden brown.
- Add 3 quarts of water, and vegetable pieces. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
- Turn the heat off, then and add the parsley and fennel sprigs to the stock. Cover and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, strain the stock from the vegetables making sure to compress the vegetables to get every ounce of stock out of them.
- Store in the refrigerator or freeze for a later use.
What’s great about vegetable broth is that you can add any vegetables or herbs you currently have. Don’t be afraid to make it your own!