FarEastRed (westcoastred) wrote in vegancooking,

Veggie Broth Recipe That Actually Tastes Good

Let me preface this with an apology to any potential multi-community viewers. If I had known about this beautiful community, I would not have posted in naturalliving, because it is less cooking, more living. :-) So, I love making things taste better. I have been working on the perfect broth for about 14 years. (Yes, I have been cooking since I was 10) In doing so, I have come up with quite a few "secret ingredients" for an amazing veggie broth, and the batch I made tonight has been the tastiest yet. I'm really interested in your "secret ingredients" in anything, really. Like, what do you do to rice, what do you put in chili, what's your signature soup recipe, what do you substitute dairy/meat/refined sugar with? Here's what goes into my broth:

~1 bunch celery
~1 bunch carrots
~10 leeks
~2 onions
~2 white potatoes
~2 sweet potatoes
~20 thin slices unpeeled ginger
~1 bunch parsley
~2 bunches bok choy
~2 lemons, sliced
~24 shiitake mushrooms (which is affordable out here, being less than a dollar for an entire package . . . as long as you put LOTS of strong flavored mushrooms in the broth, it won't taste like vegetable flavored water)
~1 large package oyster mushrooms
~2 large packages of mushrooms similar to oyster (hee hee, sorry, I have no idea what kind they are)
~Another package of mystery mushrooms (I'm in Japan, so I really have no idea what I'm buying half the time, but almost everything has been absolutely delicious)
~3 large tomatoes
~At least one head of garlic
~20 each black and white peppercorns
~5 whole cloves
~1 star anise

Put eveything in the pot and pour red wine and soy sauce (or whatever you use as a flavor enhancer) over it. Let it soak for a minute, then fill with water and cook. I'm sure everything has been used in one broth or other, but I guess my secret is having all of it together, plus the extra mushrooms, and the soaking of wine and soy sauce beforehand. Something about the soaking changes the taste, makes it richer, I guess. I've tried just adding the wine and soy sauce to the broth, but it doesn't taste nearly as good.

I am especially interested in vegan and vegetarian substitutes. I am slowly purging my diet of all animal-derived products. Not because of guilt, but because of random unpronouncables. I do a lot of cooking and baking. It's easy to make vegetarian/vegan dishes while cooking, but what have you guys done to substitute in baking? I don't have access to a whole lot, because the only grocery store whose products are labeled in english is the Naval commisary. Bleh! Not that I am sniffing at the selections the Navy has deemed suitable for us . . . ahem. I have found a place that sells flax seeds, so any suggestions with those are good. Has anyone had any successful adventures in baking vegan? Ok, I'm done.

**EDIT** Just so's you know, I don't take multi-vitamins. This broth is where I try to supplement as much as I can, which is why I make it so complex. Also, this particular amount lasts about six months to a year, depending on who I'm feeding, so it's not too terribly an extravagant waste of money. Finally, I salvage what vegetables I can and use them in subsequent meals, although most of the nutritional value has been extracted.
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