Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vegetable Bouillon

How did it get to be January 26th already?
It's almost time to put my tree back up.

The weather in Revelstoke seems to agree with me. The snow keeps falling by the foot, giving the town a winter-wonderland-christmas-is-almost-here kind of feel.

To be honest, I don't mind one bit.
I find this weather conducive to roasting vegetables and making lovely hearty soups.
And c'mon, who doesn't love a lovely hearty soup?

Before I make all these soups (which I probably won't actually do since my husbands more of a meat and potatoes hold the veggies kinda guy), I'm stocking my freezer with this terrific

Homemade Bouillon

(pretend to be blown away by this announcement.)

Yes, you can make it at home.
In your kitchen.

It blew me away too.

Typically made from dehydrated vegetables, spices, and fat, bouillon is a quick way to make broth. Unfortunately, the stuff you buy in the store is generally laced with a lot of chemical preservatives, too. That's why making your own is so great. You can use any vegetables and herbs that are in season (although I'd stay away from watery ones like tomatoes) to make this flavourful vegetable paste.

Use it to season soups, grains and anything else your heart desires.

Vegetable Bouillon
Makes: approx 3 cups
Barely adapted from: 101 cookbooks, originally from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook

Note: Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to grind down the vegetables in batches to make room for everything. This is pretty salty, you can always omit the salt and add it later to taste. Just remember, the salt acts as a preservative so the bouillon won't keep as long in your fridge.

150g (about 1) leek sliced and washed
200g (about 1 stalk) fennel, chopped
200g (about 3) carrots, sliced and well washed
100g (about 2 stalks) celery
100g (good sized chunk) celery root (celeriac)
30g (about a handful) sun-dried tomatoes
100g(about 3) shallots, quartered
3 garlic cloves
50g (about 1/4 cup) fine grain sea salt
40g (about 1/4 bunch) parsley
60g  (about 1/2 bunch) cilantro

1Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse about twenty times. Add the next four ingredients, and pulse again. Add the salt, pulse some more. Add the parsley and cilantro. You may need to scoop some of the chopped vegetables on top of the herbs, so they get chopped.
2. You should end up with moist, loose paste. If it looks chunky, just keep chopping! Keep 1/4th of it in a jar in the refrigerator for easy access and freeze the remaining 3/4 for use in the next month. Because of all the salt it barely solidifies making it easy to spoon directly from the freezer into the pot before boiling. Start by using 1 teaspoon of bouillon per 1 cup (250 ml), and adjust from there based on personal preference.

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