It’s pouring in my beautiful city and I’m loving it. It’s an excuse for blankets, fires, warm oversized sweaters, and soup. Lots and lots of soup! But every soup has to start with a good base and that base is broth. Let’s make broth!
Even with all my plentiful options in Southern California, there are still times when I just need to go to the local grocery store and buy some ready-made broth. Unfortunately, when I buy broth, instead of deciding to make broth, the store ingredient lists are less than desirable. There is the tomato paste in almost all veggie broths on the market, which I don’t always want in my soup. Not to mention broth is usually high in salt, processed sugars, and surprisingly low in nutrition. Imagine adding that high sodium broth with your can of beans…which also…has…LOTS…of…salt.
I’m usually left scratching my head. How can that be? How can I be taking these wholesome and wonderful ingredients and then end up adding things I don’t want in my meal? Anytime you add salt and sugar unnecessarily, you somewhat cancel the very reason you’re taking the time to not order that takeout.
Label-reading has become my worst nightmare. I could talk for years about how we’ve ruined our tastebuds because we don’t even know what real food tastes like anymore. Take kale for example. I just dropped sugar completely from my diet this month (other than fruit) and kale now tastes sweet! It did not taste sweet when I was eating Christmas cookies the month before. But I digress….
There are many types of broth out there: bone broth, miso broth, meat broth, fish broth, but my favorite will always be the basic vegetable broth that you can easily customize to the recipe you are going to use it for. My motto has become “make broth.”
When I say customize, I mean there are many, many possibilities when you make your own, homemade veggie broth. You can have your broth as tomato, mushroom, potato based–or you can make my favorite basic veggie broth, and then add those customized options later.
And, the best part of these broths is their simplicity, since you can add the salt, sugar, or whatever, in your soup instead of putting those additives in the base. Then the base can be stored in your freezer and customized and used whenever you need it. A lot depends on what vegetable scraps and tidbits you use to make the broth. This means your veggie broth will end up different every time, and our recipes will differ. But, they will all be a homemade, extremely healthful broth.
This extra step is so worth it! It’s a great way to add flavor and nutrition to rice instead of using water, to replace water in mashed potatoes, and, of course, delicious soups.Make your own broth for flavor & nutrition without the salt & sugar. Why? @foodscapevpm… Click To Tweet
So, start saving your veggie scraps. The ones you usually compost can now go into your broth! Supposedly more surface (chopped) on the vegetable lends a more potent flavor, so feel free to chop it as fine as you want before storing it.
If you like the flavor of the veggie, you’ll like it in the broth. Even your onion skins have nutrition! (Don’t worry, you will strain the broth.) You will learn to put those carrot tops in your freezer instead of the garbage, and to start saving ALL of your vegetable scraps until this becomes automatic. There are so many variations you will use to customize the basic broth.
Get ready to save yourself some chopping and make some delicious homemade broth!
Stay tuned for more on broth, but in the meantime…
- What’s your favorite broth and why?
- Have you ever made broth?
- What’s your favorite thing to use broth for?
- What are your cooking goals this year?