A good vegetable stock is an important ingredient to have on hand, but supermarket offerings don’t taste like vegetables, and traditional homemade versions are expensive and time-consuming to make. In our recipe, we grind a selection of fresh vegetables, salt, and savory ingredients to a paste that we can store in the freezer and reconstitute as needed. Leeks provide good allium flavor, and a small amount of freeze-dried onions support the fresh flavor of the leeks. Tomato paste and soy sauce provide an ultimate boost.
Long-simmered vegetable broth tends to be murky and off-tasting. After testing, we realized we prefer the clean, fresh flavor—not to mention the ease—of vegetable broth made by stirring boiling water into a paste of vegetables and herbs, which can be conveniently stored in the freezer. Dried minced onions minimized wateriness; unlike dehydrated onions they are freeze-dried and maintain more flavor compounds. For the best balance, measure the prepped vegetables by weight. Kosher salt aids in grinding the vegetables. The base contains enough salt to keep it from freezing solid, making it easy to scoop out a little at a time. To make 1 cup of broth, combine 1 tablespoon of fresh or frozen broth base with 1 cup of boiling water. If particle-free broth is desired, let the broth steep for 5 minutes and then strain it through a fine-mesh strainer.
1. Process leeks, carrots, celery root, parsley, minced onions, and salt in food processor, scraping down sides of bowl frequently, until paste is as fine as possible, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and process for 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl every 20 seconds. Add soy sauce and continue to process 1 minute longer.
2. Transfer mixture to airtight container and tap firmly on counter to remove air bubbles. Press small piece of parchment paper flush against surface of mixture and cover. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Vegetable broth base (per 1 cup prepared) Cal 10; Total Fat 0g, Sat Fat 0g; Chol 0mg; Sodium 380mg; Total Carbs 2g, Fiber 0g, Total Sugar 1g, Added Sugar 0g; Protein 0g