Bone and Vegetable Broth
With culinary herbs
3 pounds grass-fed beef bones (preferably joints and knuckles)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
4 unpeeled carrots, scrubbed and chopped
4 stalks celery (including leafy part) roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Any vegetable scraps you’ve collected in the freezer (i.e. kale, collards, parsley, cilantro)
½ cup chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Approximately 13 cups of water
1 small handful thyme
1 small handful rosemary
This is a recipe that spans cultures and is a crucial ingredient for numerous cuisines.
A broth is made by simmering vegetables and/or bones, meat or seafood in water, yielding a flavourful liquid. It is the base for soups, stews and sauces, and is used in multiple dishes to add flavour and depth.
You may have noticed, but bone broth has recently been in the limelight, and has been alleged to have numerous health benefits. In our article Bone Broth – the good, the bad and the delicious we explore the research into bone broth and whether these claims are accurate and supported by science. Many of these purported health benefits are not supported by the research, and we can’t say bone broth is the miracle liquid it’s been made out to be.
But, broth is a traditional dish that is essential in the culinary world. It is the base for numerous dishes that are rich in nutrients and protein. It allows us to be creative, using culinary herbs, leftover vegetables and spices.
We love to make homemade broths, as a way to use vegetable scraps, and bones that would otherwise be discarded. Broth has always been a dish composed of scraps; it minimizes waste, and encourages using all parts of an animal. We will collect onion skins, carrot tops and the leftovers of vegetables in a bag in the freezer. When this gets full, we use it in our broth batch.
We’ve included a recipe that can be made either as a bone broth, or as a vegetable broth (when omitting the bones). We’ve added some suggestions below, on ways to incorporate culinary herbs, and different flavours. We’d love to hear what you include in your broths!
Yields approximately 10 – 12 litres of broth
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil, onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is slightly browned.
- Add in all the other vegetables, herbs, salt, apple cider vinegar and the bones (optional). Add enough water to cover everything by approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch).
- If you’re making a vegetable broth, you only need to cook it on low for 1 – 2 hours. If you’re making a bone broth, cook for 8 – 12 hours.
- For the bone broth, use a shallow spoon and skim the film off the top. Pour the broth through a strainer and discard the bones and compost the vegetables.
- Store the broth in a glass container. The broth will keep for 3 days in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer.
Further ideas and modifications
You can really add whatever herbs and spices you prefer, but make sure you consider the flavour profile of the final dish when adding botanicals to a broth. For example, star anise lends a beautiful flavour to the broth of the Vietnamese soup, pho, but may not work in other soups or stews. Some medicinal culinary herbs you could include are:
- Reishi mushrooms
- Fennel tops
- To add flavour to a vegetable broth, try adding 3-4 tbsp of nutritional yeast
This savory and spicy soup is full of warming herbs and immune-supporting shiitake mushrooms. It’s perfect for a cold day, or at the onset of a cold.
Hot apple cider is a cozy drink for cooler weather, especially when filled with warming spices.