Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vegetable Stock

You can buy vegetable broth to replace chicken or beef broth in your recipes, but since I'm cheap, I will probably make my own. has an excellent vegetable stock tutorial.

If it looks too complicated, you're basically throwing chopped veggies in a pot and boiling them in water, then straining the broth and freezing it for future use. This can be used as a base for soups or main dishes. The nice thing about making it yourself is you can flavor it the way you like it.

I love Honeybaked Ham's split pea soup, so one day when I was feeling all food-storagey, I bought a package of split peas without having the slightest idea of how to make the soup. They've been in my cupboard for a while, waiting for me to go buy ham hocks - what are ham hocks? - or a bone-in ham (my recipe called for ham hocks or a meaty ham bone). Now that I'm going meatless, I'm going to try it without the ham. Since the recipe also calls for chicken broth, I'm going to try the veggie broth instead and let you know how it goes.

Has anyone else done this?


Lisa said...

I've not done this but I am working on my menu for this week and found a split pea soup recipe I had printed off and saved. (I have an obsession) I haven't tried it, but what I noticed was that it required 12 hours in the crockpot. Doing the math...we want to eat at 6:30pm, then I better be up and making my dinner well before that! :) And I think it called for something like 8 cups of veggie broth.

Lisa said...

It looks yummy, but here's my question. I'm not a cook. I follow directions. What do you do with all of those veggies after you make the broth?

Elizabeth-W said...

I have never made split pea soup with any pig parts, or any other kind of fleshy parts for that matter.
When I make it, I make a bouquet garni, which is a fancy way of saying 'herbs wrapped up in cheese cloth', to translate loosely. This is a great opportunity to experiment with herbs. Bay leaf, thyme, parsley and rosemary are good starters. I also love tarragon.
As you're cooking either your broth the soup, you add the bouquet to the pot, and then remove it before serving the dish.

Heffalump said...

I have never loved split pea soup (because of the way my Mother made it) but D loves it. Let me know if your recipe works and I may try it out just to please my husband!

Millie said...

No, seriously, what part of the pig constitutes the "hock"?

Lisa, you could eat them or save them for something else. They'll be really squishy and almost non-existent. I like cooked veggies so I'd probably just pop them in my mouth. :)

Johnna said...

cool tutorial!

I have made split pea soup (though not Honeybaked Ham's mix) vegetarian style. To sub for the chicken stock, I used Better Than Bouilllon vegetable base.

Frankly, my bouquet garni just isn't as good as what Better Than Bouillon does anyway. I use this stuff for all the soups I make, and as part of the little sauce I put in my stir-fry

My problem with split pea soup, is I always make too much. No matter how good it is, a couple bowls and I'm done. A pound of peas seems to make a horrible lot of soup.

Millie said...

Oh good, I was wondering what to do about bouillon... Thanks Johnna! :)

kits54 said...

I am SO happy to have just come across this site! My kids are teaching me to become vegetarian. I know, its sad but never too late.
I always thought you HAD to have some kind of meat to make soup...not so. My Chinese Son-in-law directed me to the Asian Market in S.L.C. You can get Knorr vegetarian bouillon cubes or a 16 oz. (1lb.) can of HARVEST brand Vegetarian Bouillon Mix. It is so good. We get it for Storage and put it (1 tsp.) in stir fry, gravy, casseroles, stew as well as soup

kits54 said...

P.S I love Better Than Bouillon as well but it can be so costly. This stuff (Harvest ) is inexpensive.

Johnna said...

thanks for the tip about harvest bouillon, kits54!

However, I'm not ready to give up my Better-Than-Bouillon. It may be more expensive than traditional bouillon cubes, but it is less expensive (and takes up less pantry space) than canned vegetable stock.

However, I am more and more intrigued by the possibilities of making my own vegetable stock at that vegetable stock tutorial Millie pointed us to. It only simmers an hour, which makes it a much quicker process than the poultry stock I used to make. I'm a little scared by how much garlic they are putting in though.

Millie said...

Think of all the vampires you'll keep away, though.