A work friend recently lent me her mother’s tattered copy of the Vegetarian Epicure. If you think this is the start to a really boring post, you’re right. It’s about making vegetable broth. If you already have a can or carton of veggie broth, maybe a spare bouillon cube, I’ll save you some time. It’s all basically salted water, and the salt is what makes it delicious. Anyway, maybe you’re like me and your bouillon expired (I didn’t even know that was possible), so this is the only option you have left.
So my work friend brought me the book in a canvas bag because it’s in about five different pieces. The first page has a note about the font they decided to use. Why don’t more books start by talking about font? It’s like no one wants to give you a window into their internal serif versus sans-serif debate. People need to stop debating politics and start talking about what really matters, fonts. Did you know Mary Ellen didn’t even talk to me about what fonts she wanted to use for this blog? I guess I was wrong about our friendship.
Back to the book… I was told that the soup section was fucking amazing, so that was where I started. The first recipe is for a broth, which is the base of most of their soups. It’s called “Garbage Soup.” Be still, my heart. Ok, if I’m being honest, the other name is Potato Peel Soup. I wasn’t sure about it at first (mostly because you have to do things like save your potato peels to use later and that’s just a recipe for filling my fridge with mold faster than usual). But, I decided to give it a try and started saving potato peels in a bag in the freezer (luckily I’m a filthy hippy who also composts and shit, so my boyfriend wasn’t too concerned when he found it).
When I finally acquired six potatoes worth of peels, I reread the recipe and realized I was supposed to cut the peels thicker than I did. Whatever.
Adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 ½ hours
Makes about 6 cups of broth
Peels from 6-7 potatoes, cut about ¼ inch thick (I just used normal peelings from my peeler, ignoring the ¼ inch recommendation)
1-2 leeks (tough green parts removed)
1 celery stalk
1 sprig of parsley (or use dry)
6 cups water
1 clove garlic (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop celery and carrots into manageable chunks (I went with about 3 inch pieces)
Combine all ingredients into a 3 quart or larger pot
Simmer for about 1 ½ hours, adding water as needed as it cooks off
Strain out the veggies with a sieve, you should have about 5-6 cups of broth at the end.
Half of this broth went immediately into some AMAZING mushroom soup, which I promise I’ll tell you about soon. The other half is still in my freezer. Don’t worry, I added bouillon to my grocery list.