Mediterranean Vegetable Broth
- 2 Carrots (each about 100 grams)
- 2 Fennel bulbs (about 250 grams)
- 4 stalks Celery (each about 75 grams)
- 6 Tomatoes (about 80 grams)
- 3 red Onions (each about 50 grams)
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 3 sprigs Basil
- 8 black Peppercorns
- 1 pinch Saffron threads
- 3 Bay leaves
Rinse carrots, celery and fennel. Remove strings from celery if desired. Coarsely chop vegetables. Rinse tomatoes and coarsely chop.
Without peeling, halve onions. Peel and crush the garlic with the flat side of a chef's knife.
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté fennel, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onions and garlic over low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add 4 liters (approximately 4 quarts) of water and bring to a boil.
Skim off any foam from surface of broth as necessary.
Rinse basil and shake dry. Add to pot, along with peppercorns, saffron and bay leaves. Cover and cook over medium heat until broth is flavorful, about 1 hour.
Strain broth through a fine sieve into another pot. Cook over high heat until liquid has reduced to about 1200 ml (approximately 5 cups). Use immediately, or let cool, refrigerate in an airtight container and use within 3 days.
To freeze: Using a funnel, pour the cooled broth into freezer bags, seal tightly and freeze. Use within 6 months.
Tip: To preserve the broth for longer, you will need to use a pressure canner and process jars according to manufacturer's instructions, or visit http://nchfp.uga.edu/.