Hmmm….if you can make chicken broth in the slow-cooker, why not vegetable broth? Turns out there is no reason, it just hadn’t occurred to my imagination yet. But thank goodness it did, because it’s my new go-to broth. An animal-free liquid gold poised to enhance any quinoa, risotto and of course soup that meets your heart’s desire. Last October I made a Fall Vegetable Stock that, while equally delicious, included more labor and I’ve learned that in the Texas heat you don’t go looking for more ways to exert yourself or let a simmering stock pot heat up your perfectly air conditioned home. Enter the slow-cooker. Your thermostat will remain constant and you won’t be chained to the stove when you’d rather be out by the pool sipping margaritas and devouring guacamole…..or at least that’s my take on the situation.
Besides the steamy 9 hour bath the vegetables lounge around in, the secret ingredient is coconut aminos. Often employed as an alternative to soy sauce, coconut aminos are nutrient dense, raw, gluten and soy free and are derived from coconut tree sap. When added to marinades, dressings or in this case vegetable broth they provide a rich, savory almost meaty flavor that adds a certain depth that cannot otherwise be achieved. They are inexpensive and found in the Asian section of the grocery. If you haven’t given vegetable broth a try, your golden moment is here. I dare you!
- 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts chopped into discs
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into thirds
- 3 celery stalks, peeled and chopped into thirds
- 4 cremini mushrooms cut in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 sprigs fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1/2 TBSP whole black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 quarts filtered water
- 2 TBSP coconut aminos
- Pour the olive oil in the bottom of the slower cooker pot.
- Add all the ingredients except for the coconut aminos.
- Set the cooker to low and cook for 9 hours.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and discard the vegetables.
- Stir in the aminos.
- Enjoy within 3-5 days or freeze for 90.