Post by Molly
I know the holidays are in full swing when the amount of chopping, slicing, peeling, and grating in my kitchen just about matches the level of late night cookie consumption in my flannel pajamas. The great thing about this time of year is that weekly festive gatherings centered around food mean lots of scraps to be saved and transformed into a fine base for soup later.
Soup broth is one of those funny things that has the facade of being super complicated to make from scratch, when in fact it’s one of the easiest Tupp Ups you could think of. To make broth of any kind, all you need to do is save your food scraps — things like skins, stems, bones, or shells — and add them to a big pot of boiling water with a few staples like garlic, salt, and herbs.
While this recipe is vegetarian and uses the vegetables I had lying around, you can certainly use it as a baseline for whatever flavors best suite your needs. Making miso soup or mushroom risotto? Save your mushroom stems. Into cioppino? Save your clam shells, shrimp skins, and all of their juices. Want a simple broth for nearly any soup? Stick to the basics—celery, onions, and carrots, also known as a mirepoix. Some vegetables to steer clear of when making broth are beets (they die everything purple), parsley stems (they overpower), and sometimes brassicas (they can have a pungent smell). I used the ends of a head of cauliflower in this recipe, though, and the flavor was lovely.
Once I’ve made a large pot of broth, I like to ration it into jars or zip lock bags and place it in the freezer (make sure not to fill up the jars too full, or else they’ll crack). The broth will keep frozen for months and be at the ready for that dark, rainy, must-have-soup kind of night when leaving the house simply isn’t an option.
Prep: 10 mins / Cook: 2 hours / Makes: 4 quarts
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Skin and scraps of 2 white onions
- 6 green onions
- 6 peeled carrots and skins
- Scraps of one head of cauliflower
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 6 cloves garlic
- 8 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp. salt (plus more to taste)
- 2 tsp. whole peppercorns
WHAT YOU DO:
- Place all ingredients in a large pot filled with water.
- Bring to a rolling boil.
- Let simmer until the water is reduced by half, about 1.5-2 hours.
- Strain all ingredients through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Let cool completely and either use immediately or freeze for up to three months.