Rich Vegetable Broth
Makes 4 cups
A flavorful broth is the foundation for delicious gravy. Browning only the onions adds enough color and “caramel” richness to support, but not overwhelm, other ingredients. The finished broth is left unsalted, which ensures that the gravy can be reduced as needed without becoming too salty. Make the broth days ahead and chill, or weeks ahead and freeze.
- 2 Tbs. safflower oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled, halved, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 canned Italian-style tomatoes packed in juice, excess liquids shaken off
- 3 large shallots (8 oz.), peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 3 celery stalks (no leaves), sliced crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips (2 cups)
- 2 1-inch pieces dried porcini mushrooms
- ½ cup diced carrot
- 4 whole allspice berries, coarsely crushed
- 1 ½ Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Heat oil in 5-qt. pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Sauté 18 minutes, or until onions are deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
2. Add 2 qt. cold water, tomatoes, shallots, celery, dried porcini, carrot, allspice, thyme, and pepper. Increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour. Add parsley, and cook 5 minutes more.
3. Strain broth into large measuring cup. Press on solids in strainer to yield 4 cups broth. Or return broth to same pot, and cook until reduced to 4 cups. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover. Keep refrigerated or freeze.
November 2013 p.49