Why I’m Thankful for Broth

Deeply rich flavorful broth is a foundation for delicious soups, stews, sauces and stuffings. Learn how to make it and our favorite ways to use it.

Golden Chicken Broth

Golden Chicken BrothHave you noticed how the rich aroma and deeply satisfying flavor of delicious soup or a great sauce seems to nourish the soul? No wonder Georges Auguste Escoffier, the famed French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer declared that “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” Having grown up on my grandmother’s amazing soups and gravies made from homemade broth, I never doubted it! If you’ve never made broth (also known as stock), Golden Chicken Broth is a simple recipe to get you started.

Mushroom and Leek Pot Pies

Good quality rich broth is made by slowly simmering the bones and meat of animals or fish with vegetables, or simply by simmering flavorful vegetables alone. Slow simmering helps extract the deep flavor and valuable nutrients from the marrow, bones and vegetables. This nourishing flavor is what the Japanese have long-called umami, a somewhat difficult-to-describe, savory flavor experience.

Freezing homemade (or unused store-bought) broth in muffin tins makes it easy to keep in small amounts. Once frozen, remove portions out of the tin and store them in resealable bags in your freezer.

Easy Mushroom Broth

Although nothing beats homemade broth, I always have extra vegetable, chicken and beef broth ready for quick meals in my pantry. Here are my favorite uses for broth along wit some great recipes:

  • Use in place of water to cook grains.

  • Heat and drink as a warming, satisfying beverage. Add miso, if desired.

  • Deglaze a pan to make delicious sauce.

  • Poach or simmer eggs in broth.

  • Braise vegetables or meats, tofu or tempeh.

  • Simmer vegetables, legumes, meats and grains for soups and stews.

  • Add chicken or turkey broth to dressing and stuffing like in this Classic Cornbread Dressing.

  • Steam fry with broth in place of oil. (Check out this how-to video on steam frying to learn how!)

  • Mash potatoes or “cream vegetables” with broth in place of milk or cream.

  • Use broth in place of milk when making pot pies.  Mushroom and Leek Pot Pies is made with either vegetable or mushroom broth. Purchase a ready-to-use broth or use one of these recipes: Homemade Vegetable Broth or Easy Mushroom Broth.  

  • Coconut milk is mixed with vegetable broth, lemongrass and other flavorful ingredients to make this deliciously simple Shrimp and Fish in Aromatic Coconut Broth.

  • Chicken Noodle Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano Broth relies on a quartered chicken simmered with cheese rinds for a remarkably savory flavor. 

  • Making gravy with broth is actually pretty simple. Follow the easy instructions in our Learn to Cook: Basic Gravy recipe.

  • Low and slow: cook greens such as kale, collards, chard, mustard, turnip and beet greens in vegetable, chicken or beef broth. Braised Greens with Onions uses vegetable broth along with Tamari soy sauce for flavor.

  • Vietnamese-Style Beef Soup is spiced with beef broth, ginger, garlic and star anise. 

  • Rice cooked in broth is especially good. Add herbs and seasonings for extra flavor. Marsala wine, chicken broth and Gruyère cheese make our Spinach and Porcini Mushroom Risotto seriously wonderful!

Do you make your own broth? If so, do you slow simmer it on a stovetop or use a slow cooker? I’d love to know. 

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