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Make a Homemade Vegetable Broth Base and Stash it in the Freezer

Reconstitute it in boiling water for broth on the fly.
By Published Mar. 24, 2022


A good vegetable broth is an important ingredient to keep on hand for making soups, stews, risottos, and sauces, but supermarket offerings often don’t taste much like vegetables (some are even unpleasant-tasting), and traditional homemade versions are generally expensive and time-consuming to make.

Deputy Food Editor Andrea Geary has a terrific solution: Make your own vegetable broth concentrate that you can store in the freezer and reconstitute as needed.

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Her recipe, which makes enough for 7 quarts of broth, comes together easily: Just use a food processor to grind a selection of fresh, raw vegetables; salt; and savory ingredients to a paste.

Building a Balanced Broth

The key was finding a combination of vegetables that produced a broth that is unobtrusive but still had enough backbone to give a dish depth and complexity. Her carefully calibrated selection includes a few surprising choices:

  • Leeks provide mild allium flavor.
  • Dried minced onions support the fresh allium taste of the leeks. 
  • Carrots add sweetness and color.
  • Celery root offers mild yet complex celery undertones.
  • Parsley contributes grassiness.
  • Tomato paste and soy sauce give the mixture an umami boost. 


Kosher salt aids in grinding the vegetables, and, because salt depresses the freezing point of water, also keeps the base from freezing solid, making it easy to remove a spoonful at a time without ever having to thaw it.

From there, making broth is as simple as stirring the base into boiling water, using a ratio of 1 tablespoon of base to 1 cup of water. 

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.