Great for sipping or as a base for soup.
Winter arrived in Northern California! Finally! For the past several years, our weather in November, December, and January acted like an extended autumn and glided seamlessly into spring. I remember reluctantly enjoying the warm sunny December days and spending January praying and begging for rain.
Well, it arrived. Cold, rain, wind, and more rain. And we need it, so I am grateful. I promise not to complain. Today, as I sit in front of my computer, (wearing many layers), I glance up now and again to stare out the window through the rain droplets. The gray clouds move and shift, the trees sway, the water plummets. I love it and think… SOUP! BROTH! Stay warm and healthy and hold onto a mug of something hot. According to James Beard, “A stock, is broth, is a bouillon.” Okay, that works! We can call this what we want, but we have plenty of room for creativity!
We hear a great deal about bone broth and how its superfood properties go way beyond vitamins and minerals. A bone broth has magical properties. I thought about the elements and ingredients and pondered a vegetarian version. Is there a good recipe for a vegetarian super nutritious broth? I decided to turn to the Italian cuisine for some answers.
Build your broth
Many Italian dishes begin with a sofritto, a flavor base with carrots, celery, onion, and parsley. Additionally, from there, begin to build nutrition with leafy greens such as dino kale, chard, high in calcium, potassium and other minerals. Members of the chicory family, or bitter greens such as radicchio and endive are staples in the Italian diet and contain zinc, copper, and vitamin K.
Also, add some wakame seaweed and mushroom which also contain important trace elements. To make a nice dark broth, add some tomato and to thicken, add one potato. I think we are there. These ingredients will provide vitamins, minerals, and healthy properties found in bone broth. It keeps us hydrated and warm on the inside. Salute!
Vegetarian Broth for sipping or as a soup base
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- ½ pound mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped, with stems
- 1 medium potato, sliced
- 2 whole Roma or small tomatoes, fresh or canned, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. dried seaweed such as wakame
- 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
- 1 small head of radicchio, roughly chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot and add the onion. Saute for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and parsley. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, the potato, and 1 tsp. of salt. Cook uncovered on low heat for 5 minutes. The sauteing of the aromatic vegetables in advance will enrich the flavor of the broth.
- Add 6 cups water, seaweed, ginger, and stir. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Add the kale and radicchio and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Will make 5 cups rich broth. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one week, and reheat as needed. Alternatively, freeze in jars for up to one month. When filling jars for the freezer, be sure to leave one inch space at the top because the broth expands when frozen.