I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Monday, October 26, 2009

Is it soup yet?


There hasn't been a lot of elaborate cooking going on here recently (not that it's EVER elaborate), it's been more like boil the pasta and throw some Parmenon on top. After slathering on the Earth Balance. But with the waning days of autumn (if I may indulge in a little poetic waxing) the kitchen has become far more attractive than it was during the last despicable part of the Mid-Atlantic summer. Which means it's time for soup!

So here is not a soup recipe (maybe later) but the latest version of homemade veggie broth mix to get said soup started. There have been a few times in the past when I actually did a veg stock from scratch, but let's face it, that is not a common pursuit in my kitchen. First of all I can't stand the idea of boiling vegetables to death and then throwing them away (which most broth/stock recipes tell you to do). I think I really prefer to start out with something more of a seasoning base and then make sure the main ingredients carry the show.

I've mentioned before that there is a standard go-to recipe I use for an instant chicken-style soup base (from Joanne Stepaniak), but recently (well, today) there's been some tweaking and influence on that standard after looking at Bryanna Clark Grogan's Vegan Chicken Style Broth Powder.

I'd never included soy in my concoction, it was pretty much the nutri yeast base with salt and dried herbs. But I riffed on Bryanna's version by using soy milk powder instead of soy protein powder, and the soy milk definitely adds a 'roundness' to the broth. It was good just for sippin'! (Note that the soy milk powder can be left out completely and you will still have a good broth mix.)

Bryanna also uses sugar in her mix, which I'd never done before, and frankly I was suspicious. I didn't want a sweet result, but after making up a bit of broth with this hybrid recipe, I can say there was not a noticeable sweetness, again probably just a rounding out of the flavors.

Methinks this is the new standard. Plus it is another seasoning-type recipe that fits nicely in a 1 lb. recycled peanut butter jar. Hoo boy.

Light Instant Broth Mix

1½ cups nutritional yeast flakes
4 Tbs. powdered soy milk (optional; leave out for a clear broth)
3 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. onion granules
1 Tbs. garlic granules
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. dried dill or cilantro, or a combination
½ tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. freshly ground white pepper

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until finely powdered, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

To make broth, use 1½ tsp. per cup of water, or more to taste.

Option: for a mushroom-style broth, add a tablespoon or two of dry mushroom powder to the other ingredients in the bulk recipe before blending.

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