Homemade vegetable broth
You do not need meat to make a good broth. Roasting the vegetables before simmering them in water yields a hearty, full flavored result. I use this tasty broth in some of my pasta soups, including Fregola Soup with Rosemary and Pecorino Sardo, and in the seasonal pasta and bean soups.
Portions: Makes about 8 cups-2 l
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into fat coins or chunks
- 4 celery ribs, with leafy tops, cut into 2-in/5-cm pieces
- 2 yellow onions, each cut through the stem end into 8 wedges
- 4 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
- Stalks and feathery leaves from 1 fennel bulb, cut into 2-in/5-cm pieces (reserve bulb for another use)
- 1/4 cup/60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 10 cups/2.4 l water
- 1/3 cup/6 g fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1/ tsp black peppercorns
- 1 cup/30 g coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup/120 ml dry white wine
Arrange the carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, and fennel in a single layer in a roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and then toss with a wooden spoon to coat the vegetables evenly with the oil and salt. Roast, turning the vegetables every 15 minutes, for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender and well browned in places. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables and their juices to a large saucepan and pour in the water. Add the parsley and peppercorns and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover partially, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the broth is richly flavored. Add the basil and wine and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve lined with damp cheese cloth/muslin, strain the broth into a clean container. Discard the solids. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
The broth may be made in advance and stored in tightly lidded containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.