I am a sucker for homemade broth. I like my soups to be made from the chicken stock that I keep stashed in the freezer at all times. I've been looking for a vegetable broth to add to the mix, but hadn't come across one with enough flavor to give it a leg up on the chicken variety.
I started thinking about how delicious it might be if the vegetables were roasted, all their flavors developed and made rich and fragrant before simmering in water. It took only 5 second on Epicurious to find a recipe from Bon Appétit that did just that. The result rivals the best of the chicken stock.
Making broth is purely satisfying. A couple minutes of chopping, and the heat does all the work. It's great for weekends in which I'm running through a list that includes emptying and cleaning all the pantry shelves, writing a hundred emails, putting the final touches on travel plans for the coming months and squeezing in some good quality time with my husband who has thankfully returned home - no worse for the wear after 10 days in Bangladesh (although fairly tired of eating curry).
I have made this recipe twice and each time the broth came out deep, rich, and fragrant. Last week, when I was trying to cure myself of that mid-March cold, I added chopped sweet potatoes, spinach, onions, and herbs to this broth and had a satisfying and restorative soup.
Now, with a stash of this in the freezer, I'm already plotting the many ways in which to use it. Gourmet's mushroom risotto may be first in line.
Roasted Vegetable Broth
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup quartered crimini mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- ½ cup chopped parsnips
- ½ cup sliced celery
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup coarsely chopped Swiss chard (including stems)
- ½ cup thinly sliced leek (white and pale green parts only)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (including stems)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large, oven-safe, soup pot. Drizzle oil over; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Roast vegetables until tender and golden, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Add 2 cups water to the soup pot; stir vegetables, scraping up any browned bits from bottom. Add remaining 6 cups water and all remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain broth through a sieve.
- Use immediately, refrigerate for several days, or freeze.