Dinner Tonight: Broths

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brothBroths are liquids that are full of flavor, made with water that has been slowly simmered with bones, meat, fish or vegetables. They can be eaten alone, like a soup, or used to cook other foods like soups, stews, gravies, and so much more.

Broths can be easily bought in the store, but they are just as easily made at home. There is nothing like a pot of simmering broth on the stove, plus you can control the ingredients in your broths, especially salt content. Broths are nourishing and offer many health benefits.

I like to “stock” up on my broths because I find I turn to them as soon as the runny noses and itchy throats start. Whether I a make a vegetable or bone broth, I start with every immune boosting and vitamin- and mineral-rich ingredient I can gather up and throw them into the slow cooker or soup pot and let them all simmer away.

Here are two broths that I make often. Both can be frozen up to 3 months. So make extra!

Chicken Broth

• 3 to 4 lbs assorted bone-in organic chicken parts
• 1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
• 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
• 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled
• 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
• 4 thyme sprigs
• 2 dried or fresh bay leaves
• 1 tsp  black peppercorns

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, about 12 cups. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and keep at a gentle simmer, partially covered, for about 2 1/2 hours. Skim stock with ladle every 30 minutes, or as needed.

Strain stock through fine-mesh sieve. Discard vegetables. Remove any meat from bones and save for another use. Let stock cool before refrigerating. Remove any solidified fat that accumulates at the top before using.

Vegetable Broth

• 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive
• 1 medium white potato, chopped
• 2 leeks, sliced
• 2 large carrots, chopped
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 large parsnip, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled
• 3/4 cup white wine
• 1 medium tomato, quartered
• 6 sprigs parsley
• 6 sprigs thyme
• 1 dried or fresh bay leaf
• 1 tsp peppercorns

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add potato, leeks, carrot, celery and parsnip. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add garlic and wine to pan and boil for 2 minutes. Add tomato, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 12 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and simmer gently, partially covered, until liquid is flavored to your liking, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Transfer to a container and chill for up to 5 days.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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