Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vegetable bouillon

As summer is turning into fall, I've started to think about soup recipes again. Most soups, even "cream based" ones, start with a beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. Until recently, I used homemade stock if I had it in the freezer (rarely) and otherwise used a bouillon cube or paste. They're so convenient!

Sadly for convenience, I've been reading lots about nutrition. And I've started reading labels. Do you know what is IN bouillon cubes??
Ingredients: Salt, sugar, hydrolyzed soy protein, salt, partially hydrogenated soy oil, hydrolyzed soy protein, silicon dioxide, partially hydrogenated corn oil, autolyzed yeast extract, salt, sugar, whey powder, lactic acid, spice, onion powder, dehydrated cooked beef, caramel color, dried beef stock, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, autolyzed yeast, flavoring.
And then they have the gall to say "No MSG added."

Personally, I don't think I want to feed that to my family anymore. So today I made fresh vegetable bouillon paste! The recipe inspiration came from here and here, although I made some of my own changes and estimated a lot of the weights of vegetables!

2 large leeks
6 small carrots (what I had - a few more would have been nice)
4 ribs celery
3 crimini mushrooms
1.5 ounces sun dried tomatoes
1/2 bunch baby kale (don't use too much of this - it is STRONG stuff!)
1 bunch spinach
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 bunch parsley
2 shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 cup sea salt

First I chopped everything in a food processor. It is a lot of vegetables, so you have to do a little at a time, scrape it out, do the next bit, rinse, repeat.

Isn't it a lovely blend of colors?

I used the food processor because I was following the directions. In retrospect, I think I probably could have just used the Vitamix blender from the beginning. In any case, I wanted it to be a smoother paste than the food processor was creating, so I threw it in the blender.

Added salt - yes, that is a LOT of salt. But keep in mind that a teaspoon of the finished paste will make a whole cup of broth.

Finished product:

(Plus at least this much again in the freezer.)

Verdict: it tastes amazing. A little too much kale for my personal preference, which can be changed next time. But as a soup base, I think this will be just perfect.


sarah marie said...

Very cool... looks like a time-consuming process, but that batch will last you for a long time, I bet!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Yes, definitely a high initial investment of time, but I think it will be worth it. I can make many gallons of broth with this much bouillon paste.

Amie said...

I wish we lived closer to do a food exchange since you are the only person I know that cooks like I do :-)

question how do you stor it?Fridge ? Freezer? both? how long does it last? I've been amking and freezing broth (for chicken and veggie stock) but this would take up less room brillance to make the concentrated version :-)

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Amie, I wish we lived closer, too!

I'm keeping most of mine in the freezer and a 1 cup glass jar in the fridge for regular use. Since this is new to me, too, I can't guarantee how long it lasts, but what I've been TOLD is that all the salt acts as a preservative, keeping it from spoiling indefinitely. I have to admit that I smell mine before use every time, just to be sure. :)