Grumpy Cheap Vegan: Homemade vegetable broth

Mr. Nake-id has a man cold. (Unlike the gentleman depicted in the linked video, he's bearing up good-humoredly--at least today.)

Since I've take to freezing the onion skins, carrot bottoms and rangy vegetal bits from all the slicing that gets done around here, I had a nice stash of trash with which to make a nice vegetable broth.

Homemade vegetable stock is ridiculously easy to make, and if you're given to parsimony, will make you feel like a home-ec virtuoso. Instructions follow:

1. Dump your bag of garbage into a large stock pot and add enough filtered water so your vegetables can swim about freely. (It takes about two weeks to a month to acquire enough chard veins and broccoli stems to make it worth your while.)

2. Augment with one onion quartered, a stalk of celery cut into chunks, one carrot, a yam and as much garlic and you can force yourself to peel.

3. Season with two bay leaves and eight or so peppercorns.

4. Bring to boil covered. Then simmer uncovered for an hour. Allow to cool.

5. Strain into second large pot with a colander, pressing the liquid out of your veggies. (Purists use cheese cloth for straining. Given the bulk of my veggies, I find the cheese cloth to be too flimsy.)

6. Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste and simmer for another 20 minutes to blend flavors.

The beauty of this is that it's completely adjustable based on what you've frozen and have on hand. Our bag of frozen vegetable matter contained everything from the holy trinity of onions, carrots and celery to broccoli, bits of tomato and mushroom, potato, and maybe a fennel bottom or two. When making your broth, you can add whatever you feel might be lacking. If you need a little extra flavor, add an organic veggie bouilleon cube.

I get about two to three quarts. Use immediately or freeze for later use. (Compost your scraps.)

Tomorrow: Nake-id Healing Soup!

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