Vegetable broth is obtained from simmering vegetable cuts in water. You can also add fresh herbs of your choice to the simmering vegetables, to add a pleasant aroma. Vegetable broth is commonly used in soups and sauces to add flavor and taste.
What is Vegetable Broth made of?
Vegetables such as onions, leeks, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms are the main ingredients one can use to bring out the best in a vegetable broth, usually packed with savory flavors.
How to make vegetable broth
Its easy to make vegetable broth from the comfort of your own home.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Clean vegetables under running water
- Roughly chop the vegetables. For vegetables like carrots that call for peeling beforehand, you can live the peels on to add more nutrients and flavor to your broth.
- Toss the chopped vegetables in a pot
- Sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes
- Add water and bring to a boil
- Add any fresh herbs of your choice to bring out your desired flavor
- Simmer for 45 minutes. This allows the vegetables to release as much flavor as possible.
- Strain the vegetables to remain with the broth
Vegetable broth also known as Magic mineral broth boasts health benefits as it’s packed with lots of nutrients. Vegetables are high in potassium, magnesium, and minerals that are important to the body. The broth is known for fighting cancer cells, boosting the immune system, and relaxing the body muscles.
Vegetable Broth Substitutes
At times when preparing to cook, vegetable broth might run out. Most of the ingredients suitable for replacing vegetable broth are readily available in our houses.
Here are some substitutes that can be used in place of a vegetable broth:
- Beef or Chicken Broth
The liquid derived from the preparation of beef or chicken is its broth. The broth then can be used to substitute vegetable broth, especially in flavoring chicken or beef dishes.
2. Seasonings and Spices
Common seasonings and spices can be used by those looking to prepare a quick broth. Start by mixing dried mixed herbs such as thyme, oregano, dill, parsley, rosemary, and dried herbs. Combine the spices and mix them with some onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon pepper. Pour in boiling water, and the broth is ready for use.
3. Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cube consists of concentrated and dehydrated fish, vegetables, chicken, or beef broth. Storing the cubes is much more comfortable, considering they have a longer shelf life than liquid broth. The preparation process only consists of the cube mixing with hot water.
4. White Wine
White wine substitutes work well in a recipe where small amounts of the broth are needed. Unfortunately, white wine is relatively strong in taste and not a good substitute for the broth in stews and soups.
5. Soy Sauce and Water
The combination of soy sauce and water is a great substitute, especially for vegetarian meals. With just a tablespoon of soy sauce and a cup of water, the broth is ready. To add more flavor, black pepper pods and bay leaves can be added.
6. Olive Oil / Melted Butter and Water
Combining just a cup of water and a tablespoon of olive oil or melted butter maintains some fat and flavor the broth would have produced. For a flavorful dish, add some salt, mixed herbs, and spices to ramp up the taste.
If the dish being prepared calls for a long cooking period, water is a good broth substitute. For instance, if a meal being prepared consists of meat, vegetables, or legumes, as the soup or stew simmers naturally, it produces its stock. Add some seasoning, and the dish is ready to serve.
8. Store-Bought Broth
Broth packaged in cans and boxes can replace homemade broth when not available. The good thing is that they come in different varieties ranging from beef, chicken, and vegetables. Most are readily available and tend to have a longer shelf life because of added preservatives.
How to use vegetable broth
The good thing about vegetable broth is, it tastes good in any dish. Whether meat or soup or stew, the broth is sure to add some flavor and tantalize your taste buds.
Here’s a list of some recipes that use broth in their preparation:
- Risotto Rice: This creamy textured rice is cooked in broth, not water, and can either be served sweet or savory.
- Vegetable Chowder: To make vegetable chowder, boil potatoes in vegetable broth until it thickens, then add some cream or milk to taste.
- Brown Lentils: Most people prefer boiling lentils in plain water, which works just fine anyway. Personally I boil mine in vegetable broth and I find it to bring out some savory flavor to the lentils not forgetting the nutrients of cos.
- Ramen (Noodles): This is a traditional Japanese dish similar to Chinese noodles. Although you can simply boil them in plain water, boiling ramen in vegetable broth heightens the flavors and gives a more delicious taste. Retaining the broth when serving the ramen adds a kick and makes it irresistible
- Vegetable soups use vegetable broth when boiling. The end product bursts out with a compelling, rich, and nutritious taste. Cooking with the broth helps retain the vegetables’ nutrients, be it in potatoes, tomatoes, or mushrooms
- Gravy sauce goes well with meat dishes. The broth helps to thin or thicken and also gives a better flavor to the sauce.
- Pasta dishes: Although pasta dishes tend to use a lot of broth when cooking, it guarantees that the meal will taste much flavorful compared to using water
Vegetable broth adds a unique taste to more than one dish ranging from meat and pasta to vegetarian dishes. With its nutrients, it is healthy to have this magic mineral broth in meal preparations. And for that reason, you can refrigerate vegetable broth for up to 3-4 days or better yet store it in the freezer in zip lock bags (already measured for convenience purposes) for 4-6 months.