Vegetable broths—both store-bought or homemade—are often dull in color and bland in flavor. They lack the boldness and body of meatier broths and stocks because of the obvious lack of umami, bones, and meaty bits that have undergone the Maillard reaction. This technique makes it not only possible but extremely quick and easy to create a vegetable-forward broth that’s vibrant in flavor and color with body and substance.
There are a few key steps to this recipe that set it apart (and above) traditional vegetable stocks. Grating vegetables, rather than roughly chopping or dicing, increases surface area for maximum flavor and a shorter cook time. Normal vegetable broths oxidize, which dulls the color, but this broth is made using a two-step process that boosts the color. We separate the grated veggies, simmering some first to kickstart the flavor. We then strain that liquid over the remaining raw veg and let it steep, like tea. This infuses fresh and bright flavors and gives the broth a vibrant color.
Perfect for sipping on its own, you can also steep extra ingredients like fresh ginger or turmeric for even more flavor. Adding nuts and seeds imparts a little plant-based fat and flavor to give the broth body similar to a meatier stock. Our epic and ultimate version is below, plus a few ways to speed it up even more and further enhance the flavor and color.