There's one surprisingly simple thing you can do tonight (or tomorrow, or Saturday afternoon) that, all winter long, will give you the soup-making power of homemade vegetable broth in—snap!—the time it takes to make hot water. Use it for simmering any bean or grain, as the base for your soups, stews, braises, sauces, and risottos. Or, if you’re feeling under the weather, it will make a soothing broth with hot water, all on its own. Recipe adapted slightly from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin
three to four 8-ounce jars (but halves well)
Note: The ingredients above are given in prepared weights — i.e., they should be washed, trimmed of any stringy or tough parts, and peeled where necessary before weighing.
The helping hand of a food processor is essential in this recipe. Simply put all the ingredients into the processor and blend together. The result will be a moist, granular paste. Spoon into clean jars with tight-fitting lids.
Keep one jar of the mix in the fridge—within easy reach for everyday cooking. The rest can be stored in the freezer—it will stay soft and spoonable due to all the salt. Use within six months.
To use the souper mix directly from the refrigerator or freezer, just stir about 1 teaspoon of it into 1 cup of hot water.