Saturday, November 30, 2013
Homemade Vegetable Bouillon
One night I came home and walked in to find the kitchen table covered in a pile of vegetables and my roommate busily chopping, weighing, and tossing them into a blender. She was, she informed me, making our very own bouillon. Our own bouillon, from scratch. Will the DIY miracles never cease?
Naturally, I supported this endeavour wholeheartedly. Our household is nothing if not foodie-project friendly.
I've never been a huge fan of the instant stock you can buy in the store, but I've also never been a huge fan of making my own stock, because in all honesty, I am a lazy, impatient cook. I always hated the idea of buying vegetables just to stick them in a pot of water, boil the life out of them, and then throw them away. I used to store vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer, and once it was full I'd boil them along with an onion and a few cloves of garlic to make a simple vegetable stock, but I've long since fallen out of that frugal habit.
This homemade bouillon, however, is straightforward, simple, and convenient. And bonus, you don't have to throw out anything. It's simply fresh vegetables, herbs, and salt blended together. There's no cooking time, and once you've made a batch, you'll have instant stock on hand for months. (We make double batches of the stuff, and our last batch lasted us about a year. No joke.)
This recipe has more of a French flavour profile, but I'd be curious to switch up some of the ingredients for an Asian-inspired stock, with ginger, green onions, bok choy, and even more cilantro. Feel free to play around and come up with your own personalized bouillon recipe - this recipe is quite forgiving, and there are endless possibilities.
Also, winter is upon us, and thus, the season of soup has begun. So make your own bouillon. It's worth it, trust me.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
This recipe is so easy to throw together, and so useful. Soups, risottos, curries - any recipe calling for broth can make use of it. I use much less salt than called for in the original recipe, as I like the flavour of the vegetables and herbs to shine through more, but feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes.
150 g leeks, sliced & washed
200 g fennel bulb, chopped
200 g carrot, peeled & chopped
100 g celery, chopped
100 g celery root (celeriac), peeled & chopped
30 g sun-dried tomatoes or tomato paste
10 g shallots, peeled
3 medium garlic cloves
40 g flat-leaf parsley, loosely chopped
60 g cilantro, loosely chopped
80 - 250 g fine grain sea salt
Note: As this recipe does make quite a lot of bouillon, you may find you'll need to process the ingredients in batches, depending on how much your food processor can accommodate.
1. Process the first four ingredients in the food processor until fine, then add the next four ingredients and salt, pulsing until combined. Last, add the parsley and cilantro, and process until you have a loose, moist paste.
2. Store bouillon in airtight containers in the freezer. It will last for months (months, people) and you can always keep one small jar in the fridge for ready use. If you use the full amount of salt, however, the bouillon won't freeze completely and will remain scoopable, even straight from the freezer.
3. Start with 1 teaspoon of bouillon for each cup (250 ml) of water, then adjust to your tastes.