Bone broth has become a hot food trend over the past year, much to the dismay of vegheads. Bone broth aficionados say that it does everything from improving skin quality and making hair shinier to healing your gut and boosting your immune system. Supposed benefits aside, it's still made from simmering meat (and a few veggies) for hours and hours, so we can't really get behind the trend. But then we asked ourselves: Why can't we create our own bone-free broth that incorporates health-giving and nourishing ingredients without the need for an animal carcass? In fact, we could! Our no-bone broth incorporates loads of veggies for a flavorful stock that goes down easy and provides tons of nutrients. We chose ingredients that support collagen production (one of bone broth's goals), such as broccoli, kale, fennel (also a belly-soother for its digestive properties), and red peppers. We also added shiitake mushrooms and parsley to provide some immune help, and incorporated garlic, ginger, and lemon, all ingredients that add flavor as well as pack a nutritional punch. Whether you drink it with a meal, as a midday liquid pick-me-up, use it as a broth base for another soup, or make it a nutritious substitute for food for sickies who aren't ready to actually eat yet, this vegan bone broth is an easy way to hydrate and nourish your body -- and it cooks in less than an hour!
1. Gather the ingredients.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (2 tsp when chopped)
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 2 ribs celery (about 1/4 cup when chopped)
- 1 large carrot (about 1 cup when chopped)
- 1/2 medium onion (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
- 1/2 red pepper (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 3-4 shiitake mushroom caps (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
- 1/2 small fennel (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
- 1 cup loosely packed kale
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- several stems of parsley (about 2 tbsp when chopped)
- 1 tsp sea salt
2. Chop the vegetables.
Peel and chop the vegetables and the garlic and ginger. See above for the approximate amounts you want for the recipe (if the measurements are slightly off or you really love/hate one of the ingredients you can add/subtract how much you put in the recipe).
3. Sauté the garlic and ginger.
In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and sauté for three minutes until the garlic starts to turn golden.
4. Add the carrot, onion, and fennel.
Raise the heat to medium and add the carrot, onion, and fennel to the pot, stirring well to coat with the olive oil, garlic, and ginger. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the red pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, and water.
Next, add the red pepper, broccoli florets, and seven cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook semi-covered or totally covered for 40 minutes. [Note: vegetables naturally lose some of their nutrition value while cooking. There is some evidence that covering a pot while a soup is cooking will help preserve the nutrients better. Also, use the freshest vegetables you can find and make the broth soon after cutting up the vegetables.]
6. Add the kale, parsley, lemon juice, and salt.
Add the kale, parsley, lemon juice, and salt, stirring to incorporate. Cover again, cook for five more minutes, then turn off the heat.
7. Strain the broth.
Carefully strain the soup by pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve. Get all the liquid you possibly can by pressing on the vegetables to release any extra broth. I ended up with about 4 cups of broth.
8. Drink up!
Serve immediately or let cool and store in the fridge. Although the” bone” broth will keep for several days in the fridge (or you could freeze it), it should be consumed as soon as possible to maximize the available nutrients. Enjoy!