Make Your Own Vegetable Broth

Making vegetable broth is easy. I make broth from vegetable scraps that are usually thrown away, like carrot peels, cabbage stems and herb stalks. We collect them into a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer. You can put there nearly anything as long as it’s not rotten, moldy or dirty.

You can use to make broth: (for example)
– carrot, parsnip, rutabaga and other root vegetable peels (wash them well before peeling)
– cabbage, broccoli, mushroom etc. stems
– parsley, dill, basil and other herb stalks
– apple and pear cores
– onion and garlic peels
– green parts of leek
– slightly wilted celery or other vegetables

Do not use:
– potatoes because of starch
– tomato because of acid
– citrus fruits because of acid
– anything rotten or moldy

Think before using:
– beet, red cabbage or other dyeing ingredients. You may not want to use beets for Jerusalem artichoke soup, but they’ll be fine for borcht.
– cabbage. Use only small amounts, because otherwise it’s taste can be too dominant
– I haven’t tried ginger, chili or rosemary, because I think they might have too strong flavour. On the other hand, they could be good for spicy Asian-style soup.

When you have saved a bag full of vegetable scraps, put them in a big pot and cover them with water. Add 1 tsp salt. You can also add peppercorns, herbs and/or bay leaves.

Bring to boil, lower the heat and slowly boil without lid at least an hour. The liquid has reduced from what you started with and the water has turned into a tasty broth. Strain the vegetables out.

Use your broth for soup, sauce, stew, risotto… This batch was used for soup with carrots, parsnip, potatoes, leek and black eyed beans.

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KoKoHouse And Mimosa

Today is Restaurant Day. We didn’t have a restaurant this time, mostly because of my flu.

There were two vegan restaurants in our home town and we visited both of them. First we went to KoKoHouse, which had food for all coconut lovers. They served a combination of Asian dishes, mostly Indian and Thai. Pop-up restaurants are usually very popular, so we went there as soon as it opened to make sure there’s food left for us. Being that early wasn’t necessary, they were still setting the table when we arrived. (Sorry about the crappy pictures, we really need a new camera.)

Apple wedges and hemp seed butter as appetizers.

The buffet style table was filled with all kinds of delicious dishes. Lemon rice, Som Tam salad, coconut chutney, spicy potato wedges, awesome peanut sauce, buckwheat flatbread, pumpkin soup… There were also cakes for dessert. Everything was vegan and many things were also organic and gluten free.

My stomach was full before I had even tried everything, so I skipped most of the desserts. The restaurant was in an apartment, and it was quite full of people, so we left immediately after eating. We didn’t go straight to home but went to check café Mimosa, the other vegan restaurant. It was nearly closing time and they didn’t have many things left. We bought Karelian rice pasties and took them home with us to eat them later tonight.

Soup in Jyväskylä

A month ago me and my three coworkers went to Jyväskylä to the Birthday of Finnish national costume. Of course we had to eat something during the day and we found a soup restaurant called Soppabaari (Soup Bar).

Soppabaari is a small and cosy restaurant. It serves soups, pastas, drinks and some tapas style foods. The soup and pasta menu changes daily.

That day they had 5 dishes to choose from, and four of them contained animals or dairy. I asked if the Mexican Vegetable Soup was vegan, and luckily it was. Later I read from their webpage that they always have a vegan option on the menu, and you can also get gluten free pasta if you call them at least half an hour earlier.

The soup was thick and spicy. It was served with bread and some nachos, fresh basil and sesame seeds.

Usually vegetarian soups in restaurants tend to be pureed carrot, cauliflower or other vegetable soups, which do taste good, but soon you’ll be hungry again. They also often contain cream or cheese. This one had beans in it, no dairy products and it was very filling.

I liked both food and the atmosphere very much. If I go to Jyväskylä again, I’d like eat in Soppabaari.