Oil-free vegetable stock is something most people don’t make, but it is pretty easy to do (aside from chopping the veggies) and it’s worth it because it’s fresh, tastes better, and is cheaper than buying it if you cook like I do. I use my vegetable stock for sautéing onions and garlic in (instead of oil) and as a base for my (oil-free) vegan soup recipes.
When compared to the store bought low sodium vegetable broths, mine taste MUCH better and have a nice light flavor and a natural sweetness. I find the store bought ones are a little too strong and bitter and are not something you’d want to drink a cup of.
You can use homemade vegetable broth/stock for soup, sautéing, risotto, and more. And this way, you get to control the flavor and the amount of sodium in it.
So here is my recipes. I have one for a 9 cup recipe and a large one for a 14 cup recipe. Sometimes you just need a lot, and sometimes you just need a little.
How to Make Oil-Free Vegan Vegetable Broth
- 8 cups/2 quarts/~1.9 L of filtered water
- 2 large onions, diced
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 large stalks of celery, sliced
- Mushroom stems and ends *optional
- 1/2 bunch of parsley and a few sprigs of fresh herbs like thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp. whole peppercorns
- Dash of salt *optional
Pressure Cooker Method:
1. Place the vegetables, water and seasonings into a pressure cooker. Fill with water and bring to high pressure and cook for 5-6 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Use the quick release method (putting in the sink and pouring water over the lid until it releases) and let it cool until you can open the lid.
2. Strain vegetables from broth in a large mesh strainer and use a ladle, nested measuring cup or bowl to press out the excess liquid from vegetables through the strainer to yield the most broth.
1. Place vegetables, water and seasonings into a large pot and bring to a boil. When it’s boiling turn it down to low and simmer for an hour. Don’t let your vegetables overcook and completely fall apart, check on them after 45 minutes or so.
2. Strain vegetables from broth in a large mesh strainer and use a ladle, nested measuring cup or bowl to press out the excess liquid from vegetables through the strainer.
Use the broth right away or let it cool and store in a sealed container(s) in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze any extra you won’t use in that time. Use in recipes or for daily sautéing for onions and garlic.
For the pressure cooker, I chop the vegetables a little smaller. For the stovetop you can cut them into bigger chunks and keep the garlic whole, as they will cook longer.
This recipe is really flexible, if I need more for a soup recipe I’ll just add a little more water and dilute it. When I’m making it, I will use what vegetables I have but the main important ones are onions, carrots and herbs. The point is you want the water to taste like vegetables and not like plain water and homemade broth gives the best flavor for soup.
You can also use any other vegetable tops or skins if you like, but leave out the celery leaves, as they can be too bitter. I suggest that the vegetable peels be organic if you do use them. You can also add leeks, green/spring onions, other root vegetables, already cooked beans etc. to add more depth to the flavor.