We like to make stuff round these parts, and the more things we make from scratch, the more we realize just how easy it can be. Sure, when the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen, it can be hard to justify making, and that’s ok. That’s what grocery stores and take-out Thai is for. And pizza. And burger joints. Mmmm…
But, it’s so nice to have a well-stocked freezer and pantry, and it just plain feels good to use things that you’ve made to feed your family.
Stefan started making chicken broth last year, and he’s good at it. He whistles while he works, and we end up with fresh, yummy broth for, well, everything. It’s getting to be that season again, and, as we’ve decided that this will be the Winter of Soups, it’s time to stock our freezer with homemade broth. Do you know how easy veggie broth is to make? Not like chicken broth is difficult, but it is time-consuming. Veggie broth, on the other hand, takes about 1/2 hour, and you just use the cast-offs from regular-life cooking.
Whenever we peel a carrot, or use an onion, or cut up celery, we make sure to wash it really well first. Then, anything we aren’t using for eating, we toss into a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. Once that freezer bag is full, it’s time to make broth. Those are our base three veggies, but if you have leeks or fennel, those add a fabulous flavor to your broth.
SO…here’s how easy it is. Dump the bagful of frozen veggie cast-offs into a large stock pot, fill with water, turn the heat on, get it to a simmer, and basically just walk away. We usually like to bring it to a boil and then simmer for 30-45 minutes. You can add some seasonings if you’d like, but you don’t have to. Garlic is good, and a bit of salt and pepper. Fresh herbs are always good. Easy-breezy.
We then put it into wide-mouth mason jars and let cool. We had a burst-jar-in-the-freezer mishap last winter, so I always cool overnight in the fridge, too, and then label and freeze. Make sure you leave the proper headspace, even when cooling.