When cooking grains, soups, sauces or casseroles, if a recipe calls for water, I generally use homemade vegetable stock instead. This gives my dishes tremendous depth of flavour…but it also means I go through a serious amount of each week! In the past, my routine has been very straightforward, I add my vegetable scraps and offcuts to a bag in the freezer, then cook it all up to make a massive batch of delicious homemade stock that I freeze for later. As the garden is producing more and more fruit and that need to be preserved however, it is becoming difficult to condone giving and scraps so much freezer space. Eventually I will need to bite the bullet and invest in another chest freezer, but until then, I don’t want to revert back to using plain water or shop bought-stuff. After reading the River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin, I found the perfect solution – fresh vegetable bouillon.

Like stock, vegetable bouillon adds depth of flavour to dishes and can be stored for several months in the freezer, but it’s highly concentrated so you only need one teaspoon per cup of hot water so it takes up much less freezer space. It’s salty, but neccessarily so. The salt content preserves the vegetables and and creates a paste that does not freeze solid so you can easily spoon it from the jar whenever needed. You can make bouillon with any combination of vegetables and you like, as long as you stick to a ratio of about 188g sea salt per kilo of veggies/. I vary flavour combinations depending on what I have on hand and how I want to use it. For an Asian inspired bouillon, I use a combination with daikon radish, kefir lime, lemongrass, ginger, chillies, or for a Latin American flavour I use chillies, Mexican coriander, garlic, green pepper etc. The recipe below is a basic combination I use regularly.  It will never fully replace my delicious homemade vegetable stock, but it’s a great space saving alternative that is quick and easy to use and works well as a substitute in many .

Ingredients (makes approximately 4 x 350ml jars)

  • 200 g celery
  • 200 g fennel bulb
  • 150 g leek
  • 150 g onion
  • 200 g carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 g flat-leaf parsley
  • 10g mother of herbs (or sage as an alternative)
  • 10g thyme
  • 30 g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 30g dried shitake mushroom
  • 188 g fine sea salt

Method

Step 1. Wash the ingredients, peel any that need it, then roughly chop.

Step 2. Place the chopped vegetables and herbs into a food processor/blender. Depending on the size and power of your machine, you may find it best to pulse the vegetables and salt in small batches, rather than adding everything to the machine at once. Pulse until you have a moist vegetable paste.

If you have pulsed the mixture in batches, spoon the mixture into a large bowl/container and mix thoroughly.

Step 3. Spoon the paste into jars, label and store in the freezer until needed.

Step 4. To flavour water you are using for cooking grains, sauces, soups, stews etc. add approximately 1 teaspoon of bouillon per cup of hot water. As it has a high salt content, you do not need to further season the finished dish.

Homemade Fresh Vegetable Bouillon
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Fresh Vegetable Bouillon made with fresh vegetables, herbs and sea salt. Stores for months in the freezer.
Author:
Recipe type: Bouillon
Cuisine: Condiments
Ingredients
  • 200 g celery
  • 200 g fennel bulb
  • 150 g leek
  • 150 g onion
  • 200 g carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 g flat-leaf parsley
  • 10g mother of herbs (or sage)
  • 10g thyme
  • 30 g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 30g dried shitake mushroom
  • 188 g fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Wash the ingredients, peel any that need it, then roughly chop.
  2. Place the chopped vegetables and herbs into a food processor/blender. Depending on the size and power of your machine, you may find it best to pulse the vegetables and salt in small batches, rather than adding everything to the machine at once. Pulse until you have a moist vegetable paste. If you have pulsed the mixture in batches, spoon the mixture into a large bowl/container and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon the paste into jars, label and store in the freezer until needed.
  4. To flavour water you are using for cooking grains, sauces, soups, stews etc. add approximately 1 teaspoon of bouillon per cup of hot water. As it has a high salt content, you do not need to further season the finished dish.

 


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