A couple of days on vacation ensured that there were some vegetables left over in the fridge. And this is just perfect to make a super quick and easy vegetable broth!
Here in India, we don't get vegetable broth / stock in packages. Maybe it is available in gourmet stores now,but I have never seen one on the shelves in the mall or the stores near our place.
Earlier when I wanted to add flavor to soups,I used soup cubes.Later I consciously avoided these cubes and made my own broth.
Now when we talk about vegetable stock / broth, many use it interchangeably. But on a little research, I learnt that broth and stock are totally different!
Broth is one that is brewed with vegetables. It is lighter/ thinner in consistency.It is seasoned with spices and herbs.It is just a flavorful liquid
Stock is made from bones and meat with/without vegetables and has a richer texture because of the collagen from the bones and meat.This rich texture is because of the gelatin from the bones.
I visit the farmers market once a week and usually there are a few vegetables left in the fridge. That gives an excellent opportunity to make this broth.
I don't follow any hard and fast rules while making this one.I just use up some veggies and herbs that I have at hand.
Generally,the broth is simmered for more than an hour but here I have used the pressure cooker and the cooking part gets done in 10 minutes. The other 10 minutes is for chopping the veggies and straining the broth,etc!Easy isn't it!!!
The need to post this recipe did not arise till now but this month the Recipe ReDux
team asked us to make some basic recipe for things we have been buying
in the past. So the soup cubes are gone and instead I stock up on this
flavorful broth to make soups and more!
Before getting into the process of making the broth ,here are a few things that are to be considered...
- Adjust the ingredients and herbs to suit your taste
- If cooking on the stove top ,do not over cook the broth.May be an hour or so will be sufficient.
- It is better to avoid strong flavored veggies like cabbage, cauliflower,turnips, Brussels sprouts,beets[gives a dark colored broth],bitter tasting greens and vegetables,kohlrabi.
- These veggies can be used freely - carrots, garlic, celery, tomato,shallots etc.
- Potato and sweet potato sort of dilutes the taste
- Vegetables like Corn, too much of pumpkin/squash, make the broth cloudy
- If using left over /wilted vegetables, avoid the molted ones.
- Sauteing the vegetables before adding water imparts a good flavor to the broth.
- The vegetables should be cut in such a way that there is maximum surface area exposure. So cut the vegetables into 1/2- 1 inch in size
My list for the broth changes with what I have in hand....Here is ....
What I used today:
Squash with the peel on -50 grams
Coriander leaves and stalk
Salt to taste
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the onion, shallots,garlic.Saute till the onion is soft.Add the carrot and pumpkin and cook for a few seconds.Put in celery stalk, coriander leaves and stalk, bay leaves,mix well. Put in 5-6 cups of water and bring to boil.
Cover and pressure cook for 10 minutes .Let the pressure release automatically and then remove the lid and add salt. Usually I add just half the quantity of salt and add the rest wile making the soup. Cover the pressure cooker and let it cool a bit.
If you want a thin broth, strain as such.Else puree the mixture and stain to get a rich and thicker broth..
Use it immediately or refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze till needed....
Labels: Basic Recipes, Recipe ReDux, Slurpy soups, Step-by-step Pictorial Recipes, Vegan varieties