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 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”.

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, even if you are not vegetarian or vegan, this stock will raise the quality of your meals.

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

When I make the stock, I use basic root vegetables,such as carrots, leeks, celery (or celeriac) and onion and keep it all very simple. Use less vegetables if you want a clearer stock and more for a thicker. I like to use more vegetables and later I can make a clear stock by adding extra water. For a clear broth-based soup, I’ll mix a one to one ration of stock and water.

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

  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1-2 leeks with green stem
  • 2-3 celery sticks with leaves (can also use celeriac)
  • 1-2 cooking onion
  • 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. 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. You can use the stock immediately for a recipe or refridgerate it for later or divide it in 4 separate containers (about 4 cups per container) and freeze for future use.

If you have a stock and you’re making a recipe that requires a clear broth closer to a bouillon, for instance, an Asian soup, then add some water to the stock, for example 4 cups of water added to 4 cups of vegetable stock.

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.

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