Broth is a basic make up of leftover bones and/or carrots, onion, and celery with a bouquet garni (parsley, time and bay leaf) added in, which are boiled down to release flavor into the water. In store bought canned broth, there is autolyzed yeast. My allergy eater is sensitive to yeast and celery; therefore, I don’t have many canned or boxed options of broth at the grocery store.
My apologies in advance as I probably break every culinary rule when it comes to making broth. 🙂 However, I’ve found that I can make vegetable broth v.e.r.y. cheaply and it’s tailored to my family’s needs because it contains only what we eat. My handsome husband calls it my “gold”, as really it is food that is normally thrown in the trash.
In order to start the 1st step of making broth, I keep on hand quart size freezer bags. (You can use any reusable freezer container about 4 cup size.) When I’m chopping up carrots, onions or mushrooms (no celery in our broth because of food allergies), I take the unusable parts (tops, stems, and/or leaves) and rinse them off. I pick through and keep only the healthy pieces. After rinsing, the vegetable pieces need to air dry. Then, I place the pieces in the quart size freezer bag. The quart size freezer bag goes in my freezer door. As I continue to cut up vegetables days and weeks later, I’ll keep adding the unusable leftovers to the freezer bag.
When the freezer bag is full of frozen vegetables and when broth is needed, fill a large pot with a lid with 18 cups of water. Place on the stove burner. Pull out the quart size freezer bag from the freezer and pour the vegetable contents into the water. (At this point, you could add the bouquet garni. I don’t. I add seasonings to my dishes as I make them.) Put the lid on the pot and turn the burner onto high heat. Bring the water and contents to a rolling boil. When at boiling, turn down the water to a slow boil. If necessary, tip the lid on the pan to keep heat in, but lower the boiling bubbles. Let pot stay at a low boil for 30 minutes.
When the broth is made, turn off the stove and let cool. When moving the pot becomes manageable, pour contents through a sieve to catch all the unusable ends into a big bowl. Now, you have “free” broth. You can use the immediately. Or, you can label quart size freezer bags “Vegetable Broth”, the date, how many cups you have and fill the freezer bag with broth and remove as much extra air from the bag before sealing it. Place broth in the refrigerator to cool. After several hours, lay the freezer bag of cooled broth on a flat surface (sheet pan) to freeze. Once frozen, remove from sheet pan. Broth will store for 3 months in the freezer.
Note: Occasionally, I have added chicken bones to my broth. The process to add bones to your stock pot happens at the beginning when you toss in the vegetables. The bones definitely make the broth richer. However, frozen bones take up room in the freezer and I usually don’t have the space.
Note2: Avoid the stronger flavored vegetables that won’t freeze well or will add a strong flavor to your cooking later.