Vegetable Broth - Have You Ever Made a Good One?

I’ve tried and tried, but my vegetable broths are always too sweet, or bitter, or bland.

Have you had any luck?

I find using miso paste in the water, and adding vegetables like onion, carrot, leek, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, one can make something quite all right and fairly quick.

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Try this one. It’s based on a recipe by Mark Bittman in the NYT. I don’t think you’ll find it sweet or bitter. Bland? Maybe

2 diced onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 diced carrots
1 small diced potato
2 diced parsnips
5 sliced mushrooms
parsley
1 oz dried porcini
2 liters of water (or less)
salt and pepper

I make veg broth alllll the time but they vary a lot batch to batch based on what i have around.
I don’t especially measure but in my big le creuset pot (i think its 6 quarts) i always start by sautéing 3-4 carrots chopped into chunks, one good sized onion, and 3-4 chopped celery ribs. I use maybe two tb olive oil and i like to let them color a bit which gives a more roasty flavor.
Then if it’s for a tomato based soup i add in a whole small can of organic tomato paste, let that color and bit and then deglaze with a splash of wine.
If not tomato based i add in all my water, 3 bay leaves, and a good bit of salt. Usually i add in other veggies too; my favorites are a handful of dried mushrooms, fennel tops, a few squashed garlic cloves.
The thing is NOT to cook it forever. Like, maybe an hour tops. Cooking it too long will make it bitter (i think the celery does that)
And there’s certainly no shame in using better than bullion, they make a great veg bullion that i always have around.

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I think in general I can make a decent one. Miso is def. a good add in, and you need to have something that adds umami like mushrooms (dried are esp. helpful) or konbu. If you’re not aiming for a vegan broth, then tossing in a rind of Parmesan or two (they freeze well for a couple months) really helps.

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Yes, mushrooms are always a good thing to throw in (but not too many, or it becomes overpoweringly mushroomy). Roasting the vegs first helps, but usually I’m much too lazy to bother. I simmer it for maybe an hour. Never felt that it was too boring.

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Well huh.
I was just watching an episode of “mind of a chef” on netflix with the chef from Manresa and he made a vegetable broth.
He used one onion, a few large peeled carrots, a few stalks celery, a small head of fennel, one large turnip and some soaked chickpeas (!) and three cloves fat garlic. The veg were cut very large, the onion just in half, carrots in three chunks. Then a sachet that had peppercorns, celery seed, star anise, celery leaves, and a little coriander. Salt added to the water. Brings to a simmer until the chickpeas are done.
He likes to use a handful of the chickpeas and half of the cooked turnip blended into the broth to give it some body and a little texture.
Very clever.
It’s a while til i will be making soups again but will have to try this myself.
As an aside, the entire series is excellent.

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(post deleted by author)

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I highly recommend “Dark, delicious stock” by Mollie Katzen- It’s from the book “Heart of the Plate.” Hands down the best vegetable stock/broth I have had. I’ve always felt they were weak/bland/watery. This one is certainly not. Lots of depth.

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Along with root vegetables we had fresh parsley, lemon wedges and whole black pepercorns. My wife simmers on low for a frw hours to achieve a depth of flavor.

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I tried exactly this and the result is pretty tasty. Not in an umami-rich way that a broth with mushroom would produce, but the blended soup with some chickpea and chunks of veg make a nice clean soup.

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Good to know! I’ll certainly make it once it cools off here, i have soup at least five times a week in the fall/winter so a new base broth will be verg useful

“Dark, delicious stock”, Mollie Katzen - from the book “Heart of the Plate.”
I didn’t own the book, so went to Eat your books, ingredients as follows:

carrots
garlic
onions
sweet potatoes
mushrooms
cremini mushrooms
baking potatoes

Do you need to roast the ingredients?

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No need to roast ingredients- I msg’d you.