One of the most interesting aspects of the Italian kitchen is its inventiveness. This recipe is based upon that very principle because it is made with the scraps of vegetables used for making a wintry tomato sauce or as a base for a root vegetable soup. Rather than get rid of the skins of the onions and the ends of the carrots, I cooked them with the tiniest bit of sea salt. The vegetable broth that came from this experiment is full of flavor and purely Italian in its creative simplicity. Enjoy this wonderfully deep-orange broth with pasta or rice. The necessity for broth cubes suddenly disappears when vegetable scraps are put to use!
- The skins of two red onions
- The ends of two large winter carrots
- The ends of two zucchini
- Two bay leaves
- The leaves of one sprig of rosemary
- 5 grams of sea salt
- 1 liter of cold water
Wash all ingredients. Place them in a pan filled with one liter of cold water, adding sea salt, bay leaves and rosemary and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the vegetables and simmer at medium heat. Cook the broth ten minutes, removing the onion peels and vegetable scraps immediately. Allow the broth to cool before pouring it into a pitcher or a glass jar. Save the broth for up to three days in the refrigerator, or use it right away to create soups, stews and risotto dishes.
♦ Suggested combinations
Cook a handful of alphabet shaped pasta and add it to the broth with a spoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Use the vegetable broth as a base for making a risotto with roasted fennel.
Vary on the vegetables. Use the greens of leeks and the ends of fennel bulbs mixed together, adding some saffron threads for color and intensity. The key is not to cook the ingredients longer than ten minutes and to separate the cooked vegetables from the broth immediately afterwards. Otherwise the broth not only darkens in color, it tends to turn bitter.
Homemade vegetable broths obtained from peels and skins of vegetables are at their best when used within two days and require organically grown garden vegetables.