Vegetable Broth

One of the transitions my wife and I made when we became gluten-free, organic vegans, was no longer purchasing bullion. However, since so many of the recipes we make use broth as a component, we couldn’t stop using it. So we started making it ourselves.

It is far easier than you might imagine, and is one of those things you can do on a long, lazy day without having to spend much time processing the recipe. Here’s what it takes:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • tops from 1 bunch of celery
  • 2-3 medium size carrots
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Use your largest soup pot for this and fill the pot nearly to the top. Cut the onion into quarters and separate each layer. Slice the red onion and again separate the layers. Rough chop the parsley and celery tops. Cut the carrots into 1-2 inch pieces. Slice the garlic into fourths. Put all of the above into the soup pot, then add the bay leaves and salt & pepper. Bring the pot to a low boil, then turn down to simmer and cover the pot. Let simmer for 2-3 hours.

Turn off the stove and let the pot sit for 10-15 minutes. While cooling, set out your mason jars. I use mostly the quart size jars, with a few pint and a few half-pint size. These equate to 4 cups (quart), 2 cups (pint) and 1 cup (half-pint) which means you don’t have to measure when making a recipe. If the recipe calls for 2 cups, I am able to just open a pint size jar and pour the contents in.

Place a kitchen towel on the counter and make sure it is laying flat. Set up your mason jars on top of the towel, and set the lids aside. Place a funnel with a wide opening into the first jar, and place a small strainer on top of that. Fill the jar with broth, allowing the strainer to catch any of the items floating in the broth. When that jar is full, replace the top – hand tight only – and continue filling until all the broth is in jars.

Rinse the soup pot and refill with fresh, cold water about half-way. Bring the water to a full boil, then lower some of the jars into the water. Keep adding jars until either the water is above the top of the jars by approx. 1 inch, or until you have no more room in the pot. If you have filled all of the space, but the jars are not covered with water, take the jars out, add more water, wait until it boils again, then add the jars.

Once you have the jars in the boiling water with the lids completely covered with water, set a timer for 20 minutes. Remove the jars carefully (a mason jar lifter should be used so you don’t burn yourself). Set these jars on the towel to dry and cool, and test that the lids are still hand tight. Repeat with the remaining jars, adding more water to your pot if required, until all of the jars have been boiled for 20 minutes.

As the jars cool, you will hear the lids ‘pop’ indicating the jars have pressure sealed. After a few minutes, remove the silver ring and wipe the tops of the jars. Do not remove the lids, as this will release the pressure. Just wipe the tops of the jars so they are dry, then do the same with the rings. Replace the rings and tighten back to hand tight. Do not over-twist the rings. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature. You can now store them in your refrigerator, pantry, or keep on the counter until you need broth for a recipe.

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