Cooking Techniques: Roasting Vegetables for Richer Tasting Stock

Roasted mushroom and garlic broth

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ROASTED MUSHROOM AND GARLIC BROTH, FOR DEEPLY FLAVORED SOUPS AND SAUCES

Here’s a soup stock with so much flavor, you’d never guess that it’s vegan.  The secret is in using both dried shiitake mushrooms as well as roasted crimini or button mushrooms and garlic.  Once the stock is complete, make a soup by adding whatever diced or thinly sliced vegetables you like, two to three cups total, and simmering an additional five to ten minutes or until the veggies are tender. Make a wonderful onion soup by slowly sautéing three or four large onions (peeled and thinly sliced) until they are golden brown and caramelized, and then adding those to the simmering soup stock. With this broth, I was going for a pronounced mushroom and garlic flavor, but you could make a more balanced broth by roasting chopped carrots, onions, celery, a bell pepper if you like, along with a much smaller quantity of garlic and mushrooms.  Also delicious. More about how this broth came together…

ROASTED MUSHROOM AND GARLIC BROTH

1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms

8 cups water

3/4 cup peeled garlic (about 20 large cloves)

1 pound crimini (preferably) or regular button mushrooms

herbs de provence (optional)

salt

small quantity of olive oil or oil of choice

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste)

2 tablespoons mirin (optional)

Remove the stems from the mushrooms.  In a medium-sized bowl, toss the stems and the garlic with just a little bit of oil, salt, a grind or two of black pepper, and a little sprinkle of herbs, whatever you like.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spread the mushroom stems and garlic out on the parchment and roast about 30 minutes or until the garlic and mushrooms look slightly golden and wrinkled and smell wonderful. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms about 1/8th inch thick. Prepare the mushrooms as you did the stems and garlic and roast for 25- 30 minutes.  While the veggies are roasting, measure eight cups of water into a stock pot, add the dried shiitake mushrooms and bring this just to a boil.  Immediately turn the heat down to a very slow simmer.  When the garlic and stems have roasted, add them to the simmering pot along with the mirin and soy sauce.  Simmer for 25 minutes.  Strain everything out of this stock and add roasted mushrooms, simmer another twenty minutes or so.  Check and adjust seasoning.  At this point, the stock is ready–go ahead, make that soup! Makes four cups of stock. If you wish, add the parts you strained out to a pot with four cups water, simmer for twenty minutes.  This makes a weaker, but still tasty broth.

Roasted garlic and mushroom stems (on the left), roasted crimini mushrooms

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