Vegetable stock or broth?

Is it stock or broth?

Lately, I’ve been using the words interchangeably. When I make vegetable stock or broth, nothing goes to waste. I don’t strain and discard the boiled vegetables. Instead, I process them with a handheld blender straight in the pot and with the boiled water and I’m never sure if I end up with a broth or a stock!

I read that if the end preparation is mostly liquid, then it’s a broth. However, if there is more than just liquid, like a soup or a sauce, then it’s a stock and for that reason, I will call this recipe: “Homemade vegetable stock”.

And, should you want to turn it into broth or bouillon, all that you do is add water. For example, 4 cups of stock diluted into 4 cups of water.

I love cooking healthy meals, but because I work during the week, I need to be organised in the kitchen. From time to time, I make a large batch of vegetable stock and freeze it in separate containers for future use.

Because I cook mainly vegetarian or vegan, this can be time-consuming. Having homemade vegetable stock on hand not only enhances the quality of my meals but also reduces my time in the kitchen. I add it to soups, potages, stews, lentil and other plant-based dishes.

It’s easy to make. The main equipment you need is a handheld blender and a big pot. And if I have to say it again, it is so much better than any pre-packaged or store-bought kind.

Homemade vegetable stock (that can be turned into broth or bouillon) 

When I make the stock, I use basic root vegetables, such as carrots, celery (or celeriac) and onion and keep it all very simple. For a change, I sometimes add leeks or other options (see below).

Use less vegetables if you want a clearer stock and more for thicker. I like to use more vegetables and later I can make a clearer stock by adding extra water.

To make vegetable stock, you can use (more or less):

  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 celery sticks with leaves (can also use celeriac)
  • 1-2 cooking onion
  • 1-2 leeks with green stem (optional)
  • More add-in options: 1-2 white or pink turnips (long or round). Sometimes I substitute turnip with a handful of finely chopped white cabbage! So good!

Peel, rinse and chop vegetables in chunks. Transfer veggies to a very large pot of water, anywhere between 3-4 litres, depending on how thick you want it to be and how many veggies you have. Don’t add any salt or pepper or other spices or herbs because these will be added to the recipe you will be making with the stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer with cover on until the veggies are tender soft. After, in the same pot, blend everything (both water and vegetables) with a handheld blender until there are no veggie chunks left. If you want, you can blend it all in a stand up blender, but doing it directly in the pot is much faster. You can use the stock immediately for a recipe or refrigerate it or divide it into separate containers (about 4 cups per container) and freeze for future use.

Turning your stock into broth or bouillon

Here it’s just a matter of diluting the stock with, more or less, an equal amount of water.

For example, if you’re making a recipe that requires a clear broth or bouillon, for instance, an Asian soup, then use the stock that you’ve frozen or set aside (about 4 cups) and add some water to it, for example 4 cups of water.

Next week I will post a delicious bok choy soup. It’s one of my husband’s favourite soup.

Until then,

Bon appétit!

A handheld blender
Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

28 thoughts on “Vegetable stock or broth?

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