- 2 onions, quartered
- 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 potatoes, quartered (optional)
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and quartered (optional)
- 1 turnip, parsnip, celeriac or fennel, quartered (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 stalks parsley
- 1 stem thyme
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 12 cups water
- 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 scallions
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 4 stalks cilantro
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 12 cups water
- Place all of the ingredients in a stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and strain out the vegetables.
- Roasted Vegetables
- Preheat oven to 425F. Place all of the vegetables on a baking sheet and coat lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Place in a stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and strain out the vegetables.
Mushrooms, fennel, any root crop, all are suitable for adding to broths. Save all of your vegetable peelings and scraps in a sealed container in the freezer for quick broths. So economical. Leave peels on onions and other root crops for added color and flavor.
Make simple Brothy Soups with thin noodles, the popular spiraled vegetables or thinly sliced greens, zucchini, carrots, peppers, mushrooms,bean sprouts, any kind of dumpling. Drizzle in a beaten egg, stirring continuously, for Chinese Egg Drop or Greek Lemon Soup.
Dust your soups with with bread crumbs, grated cheese, or nutritional yeast. Then drizzled with pesto or tapanade and you are instantly transported to a cafe table at the edge of the Ligurian Sea, possibly enjoying a lazy two o’clock lunch with Lidia Bastianivich. I am getting carried away here. Anne Bianchi’s Zuppa! Soups from the Italian Countryside features many soups with stuffed pastas, beans and seasonal vegetables either floating happily in or boldly bursting from their broths.
The brothiest soup that I make on a regular basis is a simple minestrone with as many vegetables as I can pack into it. During the summer months, you’ll find me in the garden and kitchen weekly, making and freezing a huge pot for present and future delicious consumption. Thai cooking really benefits from a light broth since as a vegetarian I eschew dried shrimp and fish sauce. Tamari is an okay substitute but some added umami really helps.
Roasting your vegetables before simmering in water will produce a deep, rich broth like no other. It’s worth the extra time!
Vegetables, Herbs, and Aromatics for Southeast Asian Broth
Kaffir lime leaves, whole black pepper, dried Thai red chilies, shallot, lime,celery, fresh ginger, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, garlic, lemongrass, and cilantro.
Every now and then I mention one of my past lives. Just before having my girls I made stained glass windows. We’ve been busy in our loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, getting it ready to sub-let. Below is Tegan a few day before she left for Abu Dhabi for 2 1/2 years. I went in for 3 days last week to repair the broken glass and she finished up the painting.
I became quite sentimental about my old place. It was 1981 and NYC was a mess. Crack, crime, abandoned buildings. This old storefront came as an opportunity to own my live/work space. The city was selling apartments to the residents for $250. That is not a typo. The city had gotten a multitude of apartment buildings as fallout from rent control. The payback for such an incredible deal was a dangerous neighborhood that not 1 of my friends would visit. The convenience of the L train made it 15 minutes to get almost anywhere below 59th street. I was waitressing then, developing my love for cooking and dreaming of a beautiful vegetable garden in the country (weekends, of course!). I wouldn’t meet Lewis until 1986, so I did all of the renovation myself. The tin ceilings are original. I lived here the first year having to walk 8 blocks to bathe. It was quite a wreck. A toilet and utility sink. The old storefront had the word TWINE in gold letters and most recently, although not for 10 years or more, had been used to repair pinball machines.
When the kids were toddlers, I couldn’t take the crime anymore. We moved the Bucks County and I never looked back. Over the ensuing 25 years, the neighborhood had 2 gentrifications, making the area the hippest place to live and visit. We’re talking tourists!
Here’s a link to the realtor with some photos by a professional photographer and also the link for the apartment we renovated upstairs.
In the end, I don’t make broth that often. Is that a crazy way to finish a post on broths? I love them for a sauce base for vegetable pot pie, gravy, or winter casseroles. As for soups and stews, I build my flavors in the pot and don’t want to throw away the beautiful veggies. So off go the peels and many times, at the end, out comes the handheld blender to puree all into a silky veloute of a soup.