There are times when ‘going meatless’ and ‘reduce food waste’ can go hand in hand. In my freezer is a container that gets all the tough ends of things, the wilted parsley, the ends of celery, the not pretty or not prime. When it’s broth making time they get added to the meat and bone OR they get used alone
But most veggies alone don’t have the heft to give substance to a broth.
The lowly potato is nothing if not hefty.
Anna Thomas in The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two has a very simple truly GENIUS meatless broth.
BUT before you begin, you have to decide what potato dish you will making with the potatoes. Potato Soup or Potato Gratin or some other dish that uses 6-7 good sized potatoes. It makes no sense to save the peels and throw the potatoes away.
Potato Peel Broth
Vegetable based (that would be meatless) broth
1 large onion
1 stalk celery
6-7 large brown skinned organically grown potatoes (You are using the PEELS here, people. Organic DOES make a difference here. It’s about 3 pounds. Buy the special bag.)
Large sprig of parsley (or a small stalk of celery – or just the leafy tops – something flavorful and green here)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried whole thyme (or if you don’t like thyme, whatever herbal flavor note you’s prefer. I love dill with potatoes….)
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 Quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste (fresh ground pepper is sooooo much better and now that you can buy peppercorns in a little grinder in the general spice section, why are you spending money on pepper dust?)
1 dash hot sauce (This recipe was written before the Sriracha, my now go-to hot sauce was part of the culinary landscape. But a drop or two of something spicy gives depth.)
Dash of lemon juice (If you have a lemon, you’ll use a lemon. Yes you will.Don’t forget the lemon)
Plan a dish that uses 6-7 large peeled potatoes (like Potato Soup or Potato Cheese Calzone or… you get the picture)
- Peel the onion and quarter it. Put in a large soup pot.
- Wash the carrots and celery and chop them and add them to the pot.
- Scrub the potatoes thoroughly (this is a job for Loofa Gloves!) and cut out any blemishes.
- Peel them in strips at least ¼ inch thick. This is the very opposite from how potatoes are supposed to be peeled. I have to be rather Zen about this, and mindfully make fat peels. Add the fat,clean peels to the pot.
- Add the parsley, oil, bay leaf, thyme and garlic.
- Cover with the 2 Quarts water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 1 ½ hours.
- Meanwhile, use the potatoes for whatever you were going to use them for.
- If necessary, add more water to the pot to keep the vegetables covered at all times.
- Broth is done when it is light brown, fragrant and delicious. There should be about 6 cups.
- Strain. Toss out the spent vegetable bits. Correct seasoning; salt, pepper, hot sauce, lemon.
- Use, refrigerate for 2 or 3 days to use or freeze for later use.
Adapted from Anna Thomas The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two. Alfred A. Knopf. 1986. pp.58-9.