Sunday, February 6, 2022

Garbage Vegetable Broth

6 Adar 5782.

MasterClass has been such a fun and relatively affordable way to fill the seemingly endless time at home created by our nearly two-year (so far) “adventure” of COVID-19. 

I started taking the classes to learn from writing greats such as Dan Brown, David Baldacci, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, and Amy Tan. A surprise benefit was taking classes from many other experts in their fields, including chefs Roy Choi, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Gordon Ramsay. Each chef taught me remarkable things about making my kitchen a more effective launchpad for excellence.  

Ramsay grew up poor. So a leitmotif in his classes is not. wasting. anything. Ever. When I think of everything I have thrown away that was viable food...! Well, spilled milk, and all that. Now, I am enlightened, and we are saving oodles of money, and “making our carbon footprint smaller,” whatever the heck that means. (I’m joking, I’m joking. Please don’t send me articles on what “carbon footprint” means. Thank you.)

This recipe was born of frustration and the slowly dawning realization that I did not need to remain a victim of said frustration. I often use Imagine Vegetable Broth for recipes. It doesn’t have sugar, as do so many other prepared broths. But it costs between 30 and 50 shekels for 32 ounces (946 ml), depending on where you can find it, and you can’t always find it. So, after I whined for a while... I decided to do what I always do when I can’t find a product easily: I make it from scratch. With that in mind, I will share with you my recipe for Garbage Vegetable Broth, without sugar or ridiculous amounts of sodium, and as organic and as low-carb as you want it to be. 

Save up those carrot peels, sweet potato peels, onion skins, celery leaves, kale and parsley and dill stems. If you really don’t want to use the broccoli stalks and cauliflower leaves for your kugel or roasted veg recipe, don’t throw them in the shemitah bin (this year, or the compost or trash in non-shemitah years). Save them in bags in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to make broth (meaning you have enough detritus with which to brew it).

I like to add other vegetables. Today I added scallions, garlic, celery root, and turnip. Cover your collection of garbage with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and any other spices and any herbs that you like. I added pepper, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Then I let it simmer for a few hours, adding water to keep the pot full.

When the vegetables have given their all, I strain the liquid from the vegetables which now can be thrown in any of the various waste receptacles previously mentioned.

The resulting broth is delicious, costs nearly nothing (when you realize I was going to toss everything but the additional vegetables) and makes me feel very good about myself. Bonus: the Dearly Beloved says it tastes better than store-bought products.

If you’re living in Israel, here’s another tip: I just started doing business with Farm to Family, “Where Quality and Service Meet.” I am very impressed with their service (online, phone and delivery), with their commitment to shemitah and to supporting local farmers, and with their produce (and other products). They have an easy-to-use English site for those of us still struggling with our Hebrew.

Save money! Ensmallen your smudgy little carbon footprints! And feel really good about making your own vegetable broth, and telling the kids it’s made of garbage. 😂 Kids like eating garbage.