Tuesday Tutorial- Vegetable Broth with Shelly from Vegetarian 'Ventures

Hi All! 

I’m so excited today, because instead of me writing for you, you get the fabulously talented Shelly from Vegetarian ‘Ventures is here instead! She’s going to do a much needed Tuesday Tutorial on veggie broth, and next week you can see what I made with it! So here we go. 

Heyyya! My name is Shelly and I usually blog over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures. I’m filling in for Claire today and am going to teach you my favorite kitchen tutorial.

Today I’d like to talk about my favorite winter kitchen secret: homemade vegetable broth! Excuse me while I nerd out a little but this really is one of my favorite kitchen topics. I know, I know - broth?! But really - it’s one of the easiest and most practical ingredients in the kitchen.  How many times have you bought a can of broth only to throw half of it away? Or let those cartons sit in your fridge until they start to expand so much they are going to explode? Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. You can make your own broth by the gallons and freeze it to hold you over all winter. Homemade veggie broth lasts for two months in the freezer! No more letting those cartons explode after a week and a half!

Not sold yet on why this is the best winter kitchen trick? Here is another reason why it’s great: you don’t have to spend any extra money on ingredients (except if you factor in a small part of your water bill). I just freeze leftover veggie scraps (ends of carrots, celery after it’s gone limp, kale stems, slightly wilted cilantro, etc) until I’ve filled up a freezer bag full. Once the bag is crammed with vegetables, herbs, stems, and spices, I know it’s time to whip up some broth.

Use whatever kind of vegetables you have on hand – there are no wrong veggies here! But don’t limit yourself to just vegetables. Here are some non-vegetable ingredients that also add depth to your broth:

- Herbs (or the sprigs from herbs once you’ve used the leaves for other recipes)

- Whole peppercorn

- Garlic

- Tomato paste 

- Bay leaves

Okay, so let’s make some broth! There is no exact science to this and no real wrong / right way. I love the way no two batches of broth turn out the same. In the summer, my vegetable scraps reflect a light broth with red hues from tomato chunks. In the winter, my broths tend to be dark brown with loads of root vegetables and leftover rosemary. As I keep stating, use what you have on hand and experiment. It’s going to turn out delicious no matter what.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

1 gallon-size freezer bag full of vegetable scraps (stems, ends, peels, etc)

1 gallon of water (or enough to cover the vegetable scraps and fill up your pan)


1 pound of carrots, chopped

1 pound of celery, chopped

2 large parsnip, chopped

2 large onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorn

1 gallon of water (or enough to cover the vegetable scraps and fill up your pan)

And I usually also throw in (just because I can):

Any lingering vegetables in my fridge that won’t be used otherwise

A bay leaf

An assortment of herbs from my garden

A splash of soy sauce (OPTIONAL, to give it a salty tang at the very end)

Place all vegetables in a large stockpot and cover with water. Heat over high until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and strain the broth into a large saucepan to let cool. Add a splash of soy sauce if you’d like (completely optional).

Okay, cool - I made vegetable broth! Now what?

Well, let’s talk about freezing. You could freeze it in a block but it sure is a hassle when trying to break off only a cup full. I recommend you freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer them to zip log bags once frozen. The amount will completely depend on how full you make the trays, but 6 ice cubes = a half cup for me. If you want to figure out an equation for you, fill a measuring cup with 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and pour it into ice trays. Easy. Done. Now you can pull exactly the right amount out next time you are looking to make that certain soup recipe.

You may think ‘well, I don’t use that much broth… there is no way I’ll use up a gallon of it in 2 months.” Oh, you’d be surprised! Especially once you have it on hand and taste how delicious it is. Not only can you incorporate it into warming soups and stews but you can also use it in risotto, pot pies, and even slurp it by itself for an afternoon boost. And now is a great time to make some broth to have on hand for the holidays coming up!

Still need some more inspiration? Check out these delicious recipes from Claire and I that use plenty of broth:

Barley Risotto

Cauliflower Soup with mint Almond Pesto

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone 

French Onion Soup

Thanks so much for reading my rant about vegetable broth! I hope I’ve inspired you to try it out for yourself. Feel free to come visit me over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures if you’d like to be friends!

Sunday Staples- Poached Salmon and Soba Noodles in Miso Broth

This is one of those amazing meals that takes under half an hour to make but is absolutely nice enough to serve company. It is also deeply satisfying without being heavy at all, it’s downright healthy actually.

Soba noodles are my favourite thing right now. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been eating and cooking with them for years but for some reason they’re all I want lately. In salads, in stir fries, and now in a soup of sorts. This is also a recipe that is very forgiving and can take nearly any substitution. Not the right time of year for salmon? A white fish would be delicious. Can’t get fresh fish? Chicken it is!- although that will need longer to cook. The vegetables are also loose, bok choy, broccolini, gai laing would all great alternatives. 

Poached Salmon with Soba Noodles in Miso Broth


5 cups Water

1 bunch Green Onions

Handful of Cilantro

1 stick Lemongrass

1 1inch knob of Ginger

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

1tsp Sambal Olek

1 tbsp Sesame Oil

1 tbsp Miso Paste.


2 Fillets of Salmon

1 Head Broccoli (Bok choy would also be great!)

2 sticks Celery

2 Bundles of Soba Noodles

6 Shiitake Mushrooms

Using the back of your knife bruise and cut your lemongrass until it will fit in your pot and is very aromatic.

Cut your green onions- use the white parts for some pretty little slices and then roughly chop the tops.

Add the tops of the green onions, the lemongrass, and all the other ingredients for your broth into a medium pot. Bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then strain it into another pot. Bring it up to a simmer again.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water up to a boil and season with salt.

While thats all happening cut your broccoli into little florets and slice your mushrooms and celery.

Once your water is boiling add your soba noodles, broccoli, celery and mushrooms and boil for about 6 minutes.

Add your salmon to your broth and turn the heat very low.

Once your noodles are cooked strain them and then place some of the soba and the vegetables into your bowls.

Add the salmon and ladel some of the broth on top. Add your slices of green onions and your done!

Cauliflower Soup with Mint Almond Pesto

I’m sick. I’m sick and I feel dreadful. I’m sick and all I want is my moms chicken noodle soup because hers always tastes better then mine no matter how much I do it exactly the same way. I’m sick and I’m cranky. I’m sick and I need something comforting that takes very little work to produce, and also very little money because I can’t work when I’m sick, and though I dream of paid sick days they are certainly not in my immediate future. Did I mention I’m sick? And that I’m cranky?

Oy Vey.

So I made cauliflower soup. It’s so simple and takes minutes to make and its so creamy and rich without having any dairy in it (bad for my throat) or being heavy (tough on my stomach). It’s a wonderful, wonderful soup that lends itself to all sorts of things, and in this case it is a perfect backdrop for a mint-almond pesto that makes everything seem just a little bit brighter. Which is a very good thing when your sick and cranky and it’s raining out.  Did I mention that it’s raining out?

Cauliflower Soup with Mint Almond Pesto

2 Heads of Cauliflower, cut up into big chunks.

1 White Onion, Chopped

1 Clover Garlic, minced

3 cups Chicken Stock

1 tbsp Flour

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 -2 tsp Lemon Juice

Salt and Pepper


Half a Bunch Parsley

Half Bunch Mint

Zest of 1 Lemon

1 cup Almonds

½ tsp Chili Flakes

1 Clove Garlic

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt to taste

In a large pot on medium heat add warm the olive oil

Add in the onion and cook until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic and cook another minute until the garlic just gets fragrant but doesn’t colour.

Add the flour and mix well so that it forms a loose paste. Stir for 2 minutes to cook out the flour.

Add in the stock and give it a quick stir, then add in the cauliflower. The florets should be barely covered, if  they aren’t add a little water or more stock.

Put in a good pinch of salt and let that simmer until the cauliflower is cooked, about 15 minutes.

Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth, and then rewarm on medium heat. Add the lemon juice just before serving.


Turn the oven on for to 400F

Spread the almonds onto a pan in a single layer and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning them once or twice to toast them.

In a food processor put the mint, parsley, garlic, zest and chili and pulse three or four times, just to break up the leaves.

Add in the Almonds and pulse again to break them up.

Taste and check your seasoning and then pulse again until a nice loose consistency is achieved.

 Then eat this soup curled up in a ball in front of your computer while you watch Mad Men reruns. And you will return to health.

Coconut Corn Soup.


I live in a pretty funny little part of East Van. It was the Italian area and then at some point it became the hippie hang out and now it’s the part of town that has the best cheese shop, a shockingly good vegan Mexican joint, and home to the coffee shop that wakes me up at 7am from crowds of Europeans shouting over soccer goals. It’s a wonderful place, most of the time.

It’s also very food oriented. It has more greengrocers then probably anywhere else in the city and my new favourite fish shop.

And on my way to my new favourite fish shop a couple days ago I noticed a very sweet little man outside with a small truck and a sign that said “Chilliwack Corn”. Now, who am I to refuse fate?

So instead of getting tuna I got sidestriped shrimp (the best shrimp ever doncha know?) and made a big batch of coconut corn soup.

This is good soup.

It’s rich and satisfying, it freezes well because of all of the starch in the corn, and it’s very flavourful. It’s loaded with lemongrass and ginger and lime and it is wonderful. Best takes less then 20 minutes on the stove and it is also terrific chilled, so you can make it the day before company comes by and be totally prepped up!

Coconut Corn Soup

A healthy glug of Olive Oil

1 large Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, sliced,

1 stalk Lemon Grass, sliced or chopped,

1 inch piece of Fresh Ginger, sliced,

2 cans of Coconut Milk

4 Pieces of good fresh sweet Corn

1 Lime

Fish Sauce to taste.

8 Shrimp

A small handful of cilantro, mint and/or thai basil.

* because your going to be pureeing the soup don’t worry about how nicely anything is cut!

In a medium sized pot on medium heat warm your olive oil and add in your lemongrass, ginger and onions.

Once the onions are soft and everything is very fragrant add in the garlic and cook until you just start to smell it. Then add in the coconut milk and 1 cup of water.

Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes, and then add in the corn. Cook the corn out for 5 minutes and then take it off the heat and puree it. You can use an emersion blender or a standing blender but either way I recommend pushing it throw a sieve. With the ginger and the lemongrass being so fibrous you just won’t get as nice a texture without that extra step! It doesn’t take long but it does make a big difference.

Now you can either bring it back up to a simmer and serve or chill it to serve. Either way check your seasoning. Add in lots of lime and lots of fish sauce and make sure theres enough salt.

For the prawns, just bring 1 cup of the soup of to a boil in a small pot, and add in the shrimp for 1 minute and then serve them right away!

Garnish with the herbs, and you have a perfect summer meal.