Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 sticks celery, including some leaves
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 bunch spring onions or 2 leeks, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Parsley and thyme sprigs or a teaspoon each of the dried herbs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic salt (or more to taste)
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 2 litres water 

LOVEly soup: Vegetable Broth

Can there be anything more heart-warming than a bowl of homemade soup?  We all use the odd tin of soup for speed and convenience and they are much more sophisticated than 50 years ago. If they are organic, you will also be receiving some decent, uncontaminated nutrition. However – nothing beats the soup you make for your family or partner, with love and care. Make a robust soup such as mulligatawny or oxtail for everyday super-nutrition or a more sophisticated French onion or cream of chicken as a starter to a Valentine’s menu.

Perhaps the most important ingredient for any soup is the stock you use. Please have a go at making your own, but a good bought one will be fine if you are short of time. Below are recipes for bone broth and vegetable broth. Vary them to the ingredients that you have to hand. The great thing about this is that you can make lots in a stock pot and then freeze or refrigerate the remainder for another day. 

Making soup is just so simple. I usually start with softening a chopped onion. Then the choice is yours! One great reason to make soup is that you can just use what you have – as long as it starts with proper stock/broth.

To the onion and with 1 litre stock, add:

  1. Lentils, garlic, carrots, celery and a tin of tomatoes (lentil soup - puree)
  2. 2 chopped large parsnips, thyme and a tin of tomatoes (parsnip soup - puree)
  3. Mixed chopped vegetables, 1 tablespoon curry powder and ½ can coconut milk (mulligatawny)
  4. Mixed chopped vegetables, garlic, rice or broken pasta, 1 tin tomatoes, meat if wanted (minestrone)
  5. Diced celeriac (pureed and a dash of cream to serve)
  6. 2 more chopped onions, browned a little in 1 tablespoon fat. Add crumbled blue cheese to serve.

Could it be any better? Inexpensive, delicious, full of fabulous nutrients and your family will love you for it!

Method

Making soup is just so simple. I usually start with softening a chopped onion. Then the choice is yours! One great reason to make soup is that you can just use what you have – as long as it starts with proper stock/broth.

  1. Chop vegetables into chunks.
  2. Heat the oil in a stock pot. Add the vegetables and herbs then cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add water, salt and peppercorns the lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour. Strain the stock and discard the vegetables.
  4. Other ingredients to consider - fennel (stalks and trimmings), peppers, pea pods, chard (stems and leaves), celeriac parings. Cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower are best left out as they overpower the taste – unless you are making the finished soup with them. (Cauliflower cheese soup is the ultimate comfort food!)