Monday, November 22, 2010

DIY Vegetable Bouillon

I want to share my adventure of making homemade vegetable bouillon with you.  I guess I think of it as an adventure because I find it so exciting to make such a practical and tasty pantry staple so easily.  If you have a food processor, it's a snap.  If you have a stick blender, it's still snappy.  If you don't have a machine to do the quick and easy chopping for you, it's time to invest (or add it to your Christmas wish list).

Heidi Swanson has a lovely recipe for veg bouillon on her blog, 101 cookbooks.  I also enjoyed cross referencing her recipe with this one from In Jennie's Kitchen.

Key ingredient in both recipes and with all bouillon: salt. When the large quantity of salt is added, it naturally preserves the vegetables and allows the mixture to be kept in the fridge for weeks. You can put the extra in the freezer, although it won't actually freeze solid because of all the salt.  

I used garlic, onions, carrots, celery, shallots, fennel, sun dried tomatoes, parsley and cilantro.  Mushrooms, turnips or leeks would also be lovely, but this recipe is very flexible. 

And of course, a lot of salt.  I used about 7 ounces, but better to start on the lower end than to make it too salty.

I added these beautiful whole peppercorns but found they didn't quite grind properly when mixed with all the other vegetables.  Perhaps start with the peppercorns and carrots so they'll grind down nicely. 

Once jammed in the food processor, your ingredients will be look something like this. You might find it easier to make two batches, since there are so many veggies involved.

Start by pulsing the veggies about 20 times or more if needed; this will quickly break them down and allow them to mix properly.  Add the salt last, then let it mix with full power until you get a nice swirl going inside the bowl. 

Once pureed, it will turn out looking something like this, depending on how many green herbs you use or if you choose to mix up the vegetables and add mushrooms or turnips.   

Add about a teaspoon of bouillon to each cup of water.  Adjust depending on how salty you like your broth.  

With four carrots, one fennel bulb, one onion, four garlic cloves, two shallots, four celery ribs, half bunch parsley, half bunch cilantro, three tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, one tablespoon peppercorns and seven ounces of salt, I ended up with almost 3 pints of bouillon.

Use as stock for any broth-based soup, add to risottos, sauces, chili or anything that needs a little extra flavor. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, what's the application process to become your apprentice? I wish I was drinking wine in your kitchen watching you make these marvels this past weekend. You have skills m'lady.


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