Vegetable stock or Vegetable broth is the extract taken from the vegetables and used mainly for making vegetable soup, stew, etc. Traditionally it is prepared using all leftovers i.e scraps of the vegetables like skin and peels of carrots, potatoes, tips and tails of beans, stems of cauliflower, cabbage and even the outer peels from onion & garlic. This is done to extract the minerals, nutrients and flavours of the left over veggies, which are found in abundance underneath the skin of the vegetables. Now a days, it is not at all advisable to use the outer skin of the vegetables unless we get them organic. So while preparing the stock, use the vegetables after thoroughly washing and peeling the vegetables.
The vegetable soup made with vegetable stock/broth tastes great when compared to the recipes going straight away for soup preparation. The recipe which I follow for preparing vegetable stock is very simple but will take minimum 45 minutes. If you don’t have enough time, you can buy the vegetable stock available in some of the departmental stores. I think, the leading brands “Knorr”, “Maggi”, etc have vegetable stock cubes. But as often I say, home made broth will surely taste better than the store bought ones and it can be prepared in advance!
- Carrot, cabbage, beans, capsicum (finely chopped) – 1cup
- Garlic(finely chopped) – 3 pods
- Ginger(finely chopped) – ½ “ piece
- Onion(finely chopped) – 1 No.
- Coriander/Celery/Spring onion – a handful
- Bay leaf – 2 Nos.
- Pepper(crushed) - 1 tsp
- In a sauce pan, add all the above ingredients with little salt and 3 cups of water.
- Close the lid and cook in simmer for about 30-45 minutes.
- Open the lid, take out the bay leaves.
- Mash the vegetables with a ladle and strain the stock with a metal strainer. Try to squeeze out the maximum pulp from the veggies.
- You can prepare this stock prior to 2 days of making vegetable soup and store the broth in the refrigerator.
- You can even freeze this stock in ice trays and store these stock cubes for future use.
- There is no hard and fast rule for selection of veggies. You can use anything available at home.
- I didn’t add masala bag since I felt that ginger, garlic flavor is enough as I am going to use this stock fresh for preparing veg soup today itself. If you like the flavor, you can add as per your choice.
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