I keep a lot of food scraps in my freezer.
Most of them are vegetables, fresh herbs and egg shells because there’s so much you can do with those and it’s almost a blasphemy to throw them out when you spent your hard earned money buying them. It also goes with my “no waste” and “everything should be make from scratch” mentality because it’s very rewarding to create basic staple foods instead of buying them at the grocery. This vegetable broth is a great example of “food recycling” and I really hope you’ll get the chance to try it and make it your own.
Plus, who doesn’t like to know that every pennies spent on veggies will go that much further and you’ll end up having a delicious and personalized broth ready to use in your future creations.
I usually try to wait until I have at least two medium size freezer bags or one jumbo size full of scraps before making broth. This will make sure your end result is very flavourful and that there’s a nice selections of various veggies to give it many level of flavours. Depending on what you buy, every batch of vegetable broth will be a little different but there’s always certain tricks to make sure you get something decent and versatile, every time.
Personally, I find carrots, garlic, onions, shallots and celery to be a must, so you can go ahead and keep all your grated pieces, tips, stems and husks knowing that they will always give you a great final result. If you eat a lot of fresh corn, I would suggest to also keep all the husks and silk because it adds that extra sweetness that is often needed if you have a lot of broccoli stems, cabbage and other less “sweet” vegetables to play with.
This specific broth was made with: carrots, garlic, onions, shallots, celery, zucchini, green cabbage, ginger and green beans scraps. I did not add any corn husk, this time, because I’m keeping them to make Mexican tamales for a future post.
After covering all the scraps with a lot of water, I’ve added: two bay leaves, one star anise, two dried morel mushrooms, two cloves and some coarse sea salt. You may experiment with different spices but, I find these to be a nice basic that gives a certain flair and personality to the broth. Even if star anise isn’t my favourite spice, it really shine in a veggies broth without being over powering.
Let your vegetable broth gently simmer for one to two hours before straining it. At this point, you can either use it right away or freeze it (that’s what I do) to keep it fresh and ready for when you need it.
So have fun with this and explore different flavour profiles using different spices and veggies and let me know how it turned out.