Don’t you think that homemade vegetable broth beats the store bought stuff every time? I sure do. That’s why I’ve been exploring different combinations of ingredients in order to come up with a broth that would be tasty, both as a base for a soup, as well as for drinking it plain from a mug.
A while back a friend told me that many Vietnamese cooks add an apple and/or a pear to their broth. When I asked at my favorite Pho place if they use apples and/or pears in their broth, the answer was yes. The owner also mentioned that she simmers a chopped pear along with her secret blend of herbal tea, which she serves at her restaurant. The fruit gives the broth, and also the tea, a very unique sweetness. Ripe fruit is best! Ever since I’ve been adding a pear to just about every pot of broth I make. It’s really good! I hope that you’ll give it a try. I make a pot of this broth about 2 to 3 times a week. Zendog loves to have a cup or two in the morning.
Sometimes I add flavor boosting fresh rhizomes, herbs and spices …
… like fresh lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, fresh ginger, fresh galangal,
star anise, cinnamon sticks and fresh chilis or hot pepper flakes.
Which results in some delicious vegan one-pot meals …
… like Udon Miso Soup, Vegetable Pho, and Spicy Tum Yum Gai with Potstickers.
I’m working on posting those.
My Instant Pot has made this broth process really easy! I just throw everything into the insert, fill it with water to the fill line and then cook it for about 30 to 40 minutes. If I’m not in a hurry, I let the pressure release naturally. If you don’t have a Instant Pot, you can simmer the broth on the stove top for an hour or longer. Once the broth is ready, strain it through a fine sieve without pressing on the veggies. That’s if you want a clear broth!
Basic Vegetable Broth
- 3 to 4 carrots
- 3 to 4 sticks of celery
- 1 leek, including the green part or 1 sweet onion
- a few cloves of garlic
- 6 to 8 white mushrooms or if you use fresh shiitakes save the stems for making broth
- 5 to 6 large leaves of white, savoy or Napa cabbage
- 1 apple and/or 1 ripe pear
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of whole pepper corns
- a few sprigs of fresh parsley or a parsley root
- 8 to 10 cups of water
Cut all the vegetables into chunks and put them into your cooking vessel. Add the salt, peppercorns, parsley and water.
Follow the directions of your Instant Pot for broth and cook it for for 30 to 40 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally.
In the stovetop version, bring everything to a gentle boil and then simmer partially covered for about an hour.
When the broth has cooled a bit strain it through a fine sieve and taste to see if it needs a bit more salt.
For a more concentrated flavor simmer it a little longer.
Refrigerated, this broth keeps well for several days.
Enjoy plain from a mug or use in a soup.