Good-quality commercially prepared vegetable broths are available, but if you make your own, then you know exactly what's in it and you can control the amount of added salt. For a slight sweetness, add whole cloves or star anise along with the bay leaf—remember to remove these before using the broth.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion such as Vidalia, coarsely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, with skins on, crushed with a side of a chef's knife
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add 8 cups water, parsley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
2. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve placed over large bowl. Gently press the solids with a rubber spatula or back of a large spoon to squeeze out juices. Discard solids.
3. Use stock as is, or for a more concentrated flavor, boil to reduce by one quarter to one half.
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings.