How to Make Vegetable and Chicken Broth


If the taste of your cooking doesn’t seem to measure up to the effort you put into it, your culinary skills may not be responsible. More often than not, the difference between mediocre cooking and memorable cooking hinges on something as simple as broth.

In our extremely fast-paced lives, we often don’t have much time to spare for preparing meals. Cooking meals from scratch is rarely an option. Usually, we end up relying on ready-made sauces, broths and stocks, among other things, to whip up a meal.

Stock is a key ingredient in many soups, gravies and sauces. Using homemade stock in your recipes will elevate their taste to a whole new level. You can also use homemade stock to cook rice and lentils to make them more flavorful.

Often, there is a lot of confusion about broths and stock. When made from meat and vegetables, the liquid obtained is called broth. Stock is made exclusively from a meatless carcass comprised of bones and ligaments, and has a gelatinous texture as a result. Broth is usually seasoned, while stock is not because it is often used in recipes.

According to the definition, it can be concluded that vegetable stock and broth are one and the same. The only difference being that the former is unseasoned and used as an ingredient rather than a meal.

Onions, carrots and celery form the base of broth or stock. The rest is up to you. You can enjoy the broth as a nutritious meal or you can use it as a base to make soups.

Here are two methods to make vegetable and chicken broth, depending on your diet preferences.

Method 1: Vegetable Broth

Things you’ll need:

Vegetable broth things need

  • Garlic cloves – 8 to 10
  • Onions, peeled and quartered – 1 to 2
  • Tomatoes, quartered – 2
  • Carrots, peeled and chopped – 2 to 3
  • Celery stalks –3 to 4
  • Cauliflower, small – 1
  • Potato, peeled and chopped – 1 medium-sized
  • Parsley – 1 small bunch
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Peppercorns – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – as per your taste
  • Pepper – as per your taste
  • Water – 1 quart (approx.)

Step 1. Crush the garlic cloves

Crush the cloves of garlic

Take 8 to 10 cloves of garlic and crush them flat under the blade of the knife. This allows the garlic flavor to incorporate well into the oil.

Step 2. Heat the oil in a deep pan

Heat oil in a deep pan

  • Place a deep pan over heat. If you own a stock pan, use that. If not, then the pan you use should be deep enough to easily accommodate all the ingredients.
  • Pour1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. You may use your preferred choice of cooking oil instead.

Step 3. Sauté the crushed garlic

step-3-saute-the-crushed-garlic

  • Add the crushed garlic to the oil in the pan.
  • Sauté the garlic for about 5 minutes.

Step 4. Add the rest of the vegetables

Add in the rest of the vegetables as well

  • Add in onions, tomatoes and carrots.

Add in the rest of the vegetables

  • Add in the rest of the vegetables – celery stalks, cauliflower and potato. The vegetables should be peeled and roughly chopped as required.
  • The cauliflower florets should be separated and put into the pan along with the main stalk.
  • If your produce is organic, you don’t need to peel the onions, carrots or potato.

The potato will give the broth a decadent texture that you’ll love. The sweetness of the carrots and tomatoes will balance the flavor of the onions. Celery will impart its subtle crisp flavor to the broth.

Step 5. Add bay leaves, peppercorns and water

Add bay leaves, peppercorns and water to the pan

  • Add 2 large bay leaves to the mix.
  • Throw in 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns.
  • Pour about 1 quart of water into the pan.

The bay leaves add a tea-like, earthy flavor to the broth when simmered for a long time. Peppercorns add a little sharpness. Together, these two spices create a base flavor for the broth.

Step 6. Put in the parsley and season the broth

Put in the parsley and season the broth

If you intend to use this broth as a base in another recipe, you can forgo seasoning at this point.

Step 7. Cook the broth

Cook the broth

  • Stir the contents of the pan with a spatula.
  • Let the broth come to a boil.
  • Then, turn the heat down, cover with the lid and let the broth simmer for about 2 hours.
  • Stir the broth with the spatula every 30 minutes or so.

Step 8. Strain the broth and enjoy

Strain the broth

Very carefully, strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-resistant bowl.

Your vegetable broth is ready. Enjoy it as it is, or use it as an ingredient in any recipe.

This vegetable broth can easily be stored for a week in the fridge. When frozen, it will keep for about a month.

Vegetable broth Final

Method 2: Chicken Broth

Things you’ll need:

Chicken broth things need

  • Garlic cloves – 8 to 10
  • Onions, peeled and quartered – 1 to 2
  • Carrots, peeled and chopped – 2 to 3
  • Celery stalks –3 to 4
  • Chicken – 3 pounds
  • Parsley – 1 small bunch
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Peppercorns – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – as per your taste
  • Pepper – as per your taste
  • Water – 1 quart (approx.)

Step 1. Crush the garlic cloves

Crush the cloves of garlic

Take 8 to 10 cloves of garlic and crush them under the flat blade of the knife. If you own a mortar and pestle, you can also use that for this purpose.

Step 2. Heat the oil in a deep pan and sauté the garlic

step-2-heat-oil-in-a-deep-pan-and-saute-the-garlic

  • Place a big, deep pan – a stockpot if you have one –over heat.
  • Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add the crushed garlic.
  • Sauté the garlic for a good 5 minutes.

Step 3. Add the remaining vegetables and chicken

Add the remaining vegetables and chicken

  • Add the quartered onions, chopped carrots and the celery. If your produce is organic, there is no need to peel the carrots and onions. A thorough wash will be sufficient.
  • Put 3 pounds of boneless chicken into the pot.

Step 4. Pour in the water

Pour in the water

Pour about 1 quart of water into the pan.

Step 5. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns

Add bay leaves and peppercorns

  • Add 2 large bay leaves to the pot.
  • Put in 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns as well.

The spices will constitute a base flavor that will enhance the taste of the broth.

Step 6. Season the broth and add parsley

Season the broth and add parsley

  • Add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the pan.
  • Sprinkle salt into the pan, as per your taste.
  • Add a little ground pepper, according to your preference.
  • Next, add in the parsley. You may put in the whole bunch or you may chop it roughly before adding to the pan.

If you intend this broth to be a base for a soup, be judicious with the salt and pepper seasoning.

Step 7. Cook and strain the broth

Cook and strain the broth

  • Stir the contents of the pot thoroughly and bring the broth to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down, cover with the lid and let it simmer for about 2 hours.
  • Take the broth off the heat and very carefully strain it into a heat-resistant bowl through a fine mesh strainer.

Your chicken broth is ready to be served.

If you don’t wish to consume the fat in the broth, chill it in the freezer. Once the fat solidifies on the surface, you can easily skim it off.

Chicken broth Final

Additional Tips

  • All the vegetables should be thoroughly washed, then peeled if required and chopped to requirements.
  • Similarly, you can make chicken stock. Just substitute the carcass of a chicken for the boneless chicken, skip the seasoning and slowly simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  • You can easily put leftover vegetable scraps from your kitchen into the broth. Keep stashing the leftover vegetable scraps in a freezer bag. Frozen veggies should keep well until you have enough for broth.
  • When using vegetable scraps for broth, keep in mind that you should only use what is good and can be consumed safely. Spoiled vegetables should never make it into your broth. Use vegetable peels only if the produce is organic and pesticide-free.
  • You may also keep the skin of the onions intact when adding them to the broth. This will give a nice, rich brown color to your broth.
  • Roasting, sweating or sautéing the vegetables and chicken before adding in the water will add depth to the flavor of the broth.
  • You can also make this broth without using any cooking oil in order to make it healthier.
  • When it comes to broth, be it chicken or vegetable, the more variety in the vegetables the better. Depending on the availability, you can easily add in squash, fennel bulbs, mushrooms, green beans, eggplants, bell peppers and corn cobs.
  • The onions in the broth can be easily substituted by shallots or leeks. You can also put in green onions. You can go for asparagus instead of tomatoes, too.
  • There are a lot of good choices of herbs to put in broths. Parsley, dill, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, lemongrass and fresh ginger are some of the tempting options.
  • To avoid wasting food, blend the strained veggies in a blender. Add some stock and a little cream. Season and serve it as a soup.
  • When freezing, store small proportions in different containers so that you don’t have to thaw it all at once.
  • When freezing the broth, leave room for expansion or your container – a Mason jar or freezer bag – will burst.

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