vegetable . mineral . broth
“Solitude, prayer, love and abstinence are the four wheels of the vehicle that carries our spirit heavenward.”
Saint Seraphim of Sarov
“Vegetarian cooking, for both health and spiritual reasons, has been rediscovered and has attained wide prominence. In the cooking at monasteries, this goes a long way toward sustaining and encouraging the positive trend we see today. Besides, a vegetarian meal— when well prepared and attractively presented at the monastic table— has a charm all its own. I am sure the same can be said of other vegetarian tables around the country and around the world.” (Brother Victor-Antione d’Avila Latrourette)
This broth is a fasting staple in our home, and when the seasons of the Fasts approach we double and triple this recipe into mason jars in order to have ample stock on hand. It simplifies our Lenten meal preparation, and as you can imagine, that is a great blessing!
In this age of take out and hurried cooking making your own stock may seem like a bother, but your meals will have greater flavor and nourishment if you do!
The preparation of this nourishing mineral rich broth requires no fancy equipment or culinary skills. It is a recipe we appreciate for it’s ease of simplicity, wholesome monkish frugality and great flavor. All the ingredients are very rough chopped into large chunks, and allowed to simmer for a few hours. The result is a sweet tasting, aromatic broth. It’s just that easy.
Vegetable stocks tend to have less body and texture due to the lack of gelatin and fat, but with the combination of sweet potatoes, garlic and leeks, this broth is unapologetic fresh, nourishing and delicious. The addition of the kombu adds valuable trace minerals to this exceptional vegetable broth. (Kombu is available in the asian section of most grocery stores.)
We load our pantry with this mineral broth during fasting seasons and it is the base for almost everything we cook from rice, to lentil soup to minestrone.
This recipe is inspired and adapted from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen : Nourishing Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery by Rebecca Katz who says, “This rejuvenating liquid, chock-full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, allows the body to refresh and restore itself.”
Vegetable . Mineral . Broth
As always, source the best ingredients available and affordable to you. Organic is the best option since this recipe calls for the peels of the vegetables – since that is where many minerals reside, but it is also where pesticide residues can be found.
- 1 pound unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
- 1 unpeeled yellow onion, cut into chunks
- 1 unpeeled red onion, cut into chunks
- 2 leeks, white and green parts, cut into thirds
- 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
- 4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
- 3 unpeeled sweet potatoes, quartered
- 1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 8-inch strip of kombu or Nori
- 10 black peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 quarts cold, unfiltered water 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine all of the ingredients with the water (2 inches below the rim), cover, and bring to a boil.
Decrease the heat to low, and simmer, for about least 2 hours. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve add salt to taste. The strained solids can be composted.
Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
You can drink this warm from a cup like tea or use it as the base for soups and rice.