by Cat, Oct 2007
Traditionally, broths and stocks contain a high level of easily digested protein and minerals. This level of protein is much harder to accomplish with vegetables, so if you are using a meat recipe but without the meat, I suggest using the Protein Broth, which provides protein from the beans and lentils.
Root vegetables, and especially potato peels are high in minerals which can be invaluable in a good veggie broth. Both the mineral broth and potato peel broth recipes are very simple and delicious!
Potato Peel Water
If you use a lot of potatoes without their peel, don’t throw the peels away! Put them in a freezer bag and freeze for later use, when you’ve accumulated enough peels to make a broth. You can also add the peels to the cooking mix for chicken or beef stock, or veggie broth, to increase mineral content.
Another great idea is to extract the minerals with boiling water, then save the mineral-rich water for later: it can be used as part of the water for making a potato peel or bone broth, or a sauce). To make potato peel water:
- Put the peels in a pot of water,
- Add some Unrefined sea salt,
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Strain, and compost the peels;
- Reserve the mineral-rich water to complete the broth at another time.
Potato Peel Broth
This recipe is from The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas (1). It may sound strange, but potato peels are rich in minerals and lend a wonderful flavor to the broth. The original recipe calls for MSG, but this was back in the 70s, before we knew it was a neurotoxic poison. I have omitted this, and added mushrooms instead, which, like MSG, stimulates the umami taste buds. Umami is one of the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami; it translates from the Japanese as ‘pleasant savory taste.’ (2)
Like bone broths, potato peel broth has a medicinal use as a rejuvenating tonic: add 1 Tbsp liquid whey to each cup of broth, to greatly facilitate the absorption of potassium and other minerals in the broth, and to help strengthen the immune system.
However, the peels are also good to add to compost, as they return the minerals to the soil.
This recipe makes about 6 cups broth.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- Peels from 6 or 7 large healthy potatoes (or fewer, if using potato peel water–see “idea” above)
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 small stalk celery
- 1/4 to 1/2 pound mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic
- Unrefined sea salt
- 1 1/2 quarts water or potato peel water (see idea above)
- sprig of parsley
- black pepper
- Stock pot
- Add additional herbs such as bay leaf or sweet basil.
- Add 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Add 1 – 2 tomatoes and 1/4 cup dry red wine
- Use a whole lead of garlic, broken into peeled cloves (about 16 cloves), and a 1/4 tsp dried thyme.
- For a Tuscan flavor, add 5 – 12 fresh sage leaves and 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil.
- Wash and peel potatoes, taking off strips at least 1/4 inch thick (or peel with a peeler and then cube one of the potatoes). If using potato peel water, reduce the number of potatoes.
- Peel onion and cut it into quarters.
- Wash carrots and celery and cut into large pieces.
- Wash and chop the mushrooms.
- Peel garlic. Mince on wood board; sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt, then crush with flat blade of knife until fairly liquid, then scrape into stock pot.
- Add water or potato peel water to pot. Add all veggies and parsley; simmer over low heat at least 1 1/2 hours, or until all the veggies are very soft. Add water as it evaporates, to keep everything covered.
- For a clear broth, strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Adjust seasoning.
- For a thin puree, remove the celery and garlic. Press the rest through a sieve until only a dry pulp of peels remains.
- The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas