The type of broth used in a soup can make or break a vegan recipe because sometimes soups that appear to be plant-based or veg-friendly are in fact made with chicken stock or beef stock–an irritating scenario for a plant-based or vegan eater. Most store-bought vegetable broths are filled with sodium as well as a load of other unhealthy additives that are highly unnecessary and detrimental to health. So for today's Recipe of the Day, you control the ingredients: Here's how to make a low-sodium, tasty vegetable broth from scratch.

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This plant-based recipe is made with whole food ingredients, great for anyone who eats an oil-free, unprocessed diet or anyone who simply wants to eat cleaner. This recipe is low in calories and calls for superfood vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, and more. This recipe also contains zesty herbs like thyme and parsley and an immune-boosting spice like ginger. Vegetable broths are not only great for soups but they also make for an oil-like alternative when cooking stir-fries or just about anything on the pan. If you want leftovers for the week, save the leftovers in the freezer for up to one month or double the batch and enjoy your soups and pan-roasted vegetables all week long.

Recipes excerpted from The Plant-Based Cookbook. Copyright © 2021 by Ashley Madden. Photography by Ashley Madden. Used with permission of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Makes 8 cups broth

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • A handful of mushrooms (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 5–8 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 (3-inch) piece kombu
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 cups water

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours.
  2. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool. Once cool enough to handle, drain the broth from the veggies in a fine-mesh strainer. I like to use a spatula to press out any extra broth.
  3. Transfer the broth to sealed containers and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Variations: I also add any leftover veggie scraps from asparagus stems to zucchini peels. You can add any fresh or dried herb you like. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can omit and still make a great broth!