When winter rolls in, soups and stews become the go-to meal choices for many. They’re easy to make and warming from the inside. You can enjoy them for lunch and dinner, making them both over the stove or in the slow cooker so they’re ready for you when you get home from a long day at work.
The broth is one of the bases for any winter soup. While you can buy packaged broth from the store, most of them will have added ingredients. Salt and sugar are two of the most common added ingredients that lead to the broths (and therefore the soups) just not being that great for your health.
But isn’t making your own broth hard? Don’t you add an extra few hours to your cooking time? Well, not necessarily and in some cases, you can make the broths ahead of time to use over the course of a few days. You just need the right broths to protect your health.
Here are six easy homemade broth recipes. They’re perfect for all winter soup bases, whether you want something meat-based, a bone broth, or something vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
Chunky Winter Broth for Vegan Recipes
The majority of soups and stews will call for a chicken or bone broth. If you’re a vegan, you want something that is vegetable based without any of the animal products. This is where this first broth is perfect. It’s one of those that you’ll want to use with your chunky soups, as you will keep some of the chunks form the broth ingredients.
- 800g of chopped tomatoes
- 2lts of vegetable stock
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 840g of mixed beans, rinsed and drained
- 175g of spinach
- 1tbsp roasted red pepper pesto
- Pour the chopped tomatoes and stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer
- Add the carrots and simmer for 15 minutes, until the carrots are softened
- Add the pulses and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted
- Add the pesto, stirring it into the stock gently
This is a broth that you can use as a soup on its own. However, you can also add many other vegetables to create a root vegetable soup. If you’re not bothered about making the soup vegan, add some chicken to the broth for a delicious and hearty winter soup.
Delicious Winter Vegetable Broth
Another delicious broth is this vegan-friendly one. It uses more herbs and spices than the previous one, helping to add more warmth inside. You can add more cloves, turmeric, and peppercorns if you’d like. It all depends on how much of the flavors you prefer.
- 2 carrots, quartered
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 stalk of celery, quartered
- 1 parsnip, quartered
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2in of ginger, peeled
- 8 parsley sprigs
- 1/2tsp peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf, dried
- 1/2tsp turmeric
- Salt, to taste
- 8 cups of water
- Combine everything in a pot and bring the liquid to a boil
- Reduce the heat and simmer for two hours
- Strain the broth to get rid of the chunky vegetables
You now have the liquid to use as a vegetable base broth for your soups and other dishes. You can also choose to use the broth on its own to warm you with a healthy liquid in the winter. It’s perfect as a drink when you go for the cool winter walks.
If you don’t want to waste the vegetables, you can reuse them in your soup or in a stew. You’ll want to use them within a day of cooking them and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
Winter Broth with Dumplings
Not all broths have to be plain. Making your own dumplings is an excellent way to add a little extra heart to your meals. You can add dumplings to almost any soup or stew dish.
Ingredients for the broth:
- 1tbsp oil
- 2 leeks, washed and sliced
- 3 carrots, washed, peeled, and sliced
- ½ cabbage washed and shredded
- 1 turnip or swede, peeled and subbed
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, washed and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 vegetable stock cubs
- 2 pints of water, boiled
- ¼ cup of red lentils
Ingredients for the dumplings:
- 6oz of plain flour
- 3oz of vegetable suet
- Pinch of salt
- Cold water
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat and then add the leeks, turnip, celery, and carrots
- Coat all the vegetables in the oil and cook while covered for 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to sweat
- Add the remaining vegetables
- Meanwhile, combine the stock cubes and water in a bowl and then add to the vegetables
- Add all the herbs and seasoning and bring the liquid to the boil
- Replace the lid and simmer for an hour, allowing the vegetable flavors to come out
- Add the lentils and cook for another 20 minutes
- Meanwhile, combine all the dry dumpling ingredients and then add the cold water gradually to create a soft dough
- Make golf ball sized balls and add to the broth
- Cook, covered, for another 15-20 minutes
This is delicious served on your own if you want. Or you can strain the vegetables and dumplings and use the broth as a soup base. Don’t forget to add the dumplings back into your soup. You can also add the strained vegetables to the mixture.
Sweet Potato Root Vegetable Winter Broth
Another popular root vegetable broth is one with sweet potatoes. They will help to add a slightly sweeter taste to your soup, making it perfect as a base for tomato, chicken, and noodle soups.
- 1 sweet potato, chopped into slices
- 2 carrots, chopped into slices
- 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 parsnips, chopped into slices
- 6 mushrooms, quartered
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- 12 cups of water
- Salt, to taste
- Place all the vegetables, herbs and water into a large pan and bring the liquid to a coil
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour
- Add extra salt if you’d like and combine fully
- Strain the vegetables from the liquid
You can use the broth on its own or with soup. It will store for up to five days in the fridge. You can also put it in the freezer for up to six months, making it an excellent base to make ahead of time for the cooler springs months when the root vegetables aren’t in season.
Try not to add too much salt to your broth. You want to be able to taste the vegetable juices in the water.
It’s up to you whether you discard the vegetables or use them for a dish. Try to plan a meal that night to use up all the vegetables, such as a stew or even a vegetable soup.
Winter Root Scotch Broth
All the previous broths have been delicious, but this Scotch broth is perfect for those who want a meaty or bone broth for their soups. It’s not vegan-friendly, but it is delicious. Make sure you wash the root vegetables for the best taste.
- ½ a quality lamb shoulder (or 600g leftover roast lamb)
- Salt and ground pepper, to taste
- 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped with the leaves reserved
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- Oil of choice
- 3lts of lamb stock
- 1 swede, peeled and chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- 80g of pearl barley
- 1 bunch of parsley, leaves picked
- 1 splash of Scotch whiskey
- If using a shoulder of lamb, you’ll need to cook it for 3 hours at 325F in the oven; if using leftover lamb, you can skip this step
- Pull all the meat off the bone and put the bone to one side
- Place the celery, leek, carrots, and onion in a saucepan with a splash of oil and cook for 20 minutes, until softened
- Add the lamb stock and bone, bringing the mixture to a boil and then simmering for 20 minutes
- Add the swede, potato and pearl barley, simmering for another 50 minutes
- Remove from the heat and whisk to break down some of the potatoes
- Add the pieces of lamb and stir to combine
- Season with the salt and pepper until happy
- Sprinkle with the parsley and celery leaves and add a splash of whiskey
This is a broth that you can enjoy on its own. If you just want to use the bone broth, don’t add the lamb meat; reserve that for another meal. Serve any meal with this broth as a base with some crusty bread.
Simple Bone Broth Recipe
Want a bone broth that you can use for any type of meat or soup? This is the one for you. You can use pork, beef, lamb, poultry, or even fish bones! You can even do a mixture of the different bones to get a blend of flavors. While this is simple, it will take the longest of all the broths on this list.
- 2lbs of bones of choice, unfrozen
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- A bundle of herbs of choice, rosemary, thyme, oregano or parsley makes excellent options
- 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Place the bones with the carrots, celery, onions, and your herb choices in a slow cooker
- Fill the slow cooker with water, so all vegetables and bones are covered
- Add the apple cider vinegar
- Place on high for 8 hours
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for at least 24 hours, exact timing below
- Discard the bones, vegetables, and herbs before serving
Chicken and turkey bones will only take 24 hours to cook. Lamb, pork, and beef will need 48 hours. If you want to do a mixture of bones, cook for around 36 hours. The apple cider will help to break down the marrow within the bones, offering more proteins and health benefits.
You can store the bone broth for six months in the freezer. It can be stored in the fridge for two weeks. It’s one of those broths that you’ll want to make in advance and have plenty stored for use throughout the winter, as it will become a favorite.
While you may not want the vegetables to go to waste, you may find it hard to separate from the bones. This is especially the case if you have a lot of smaller bones.
You don’t have to specifically go out and buy bones from a butcher’s. You can use the bones from your roast if you want. This is especially beneficial if you make a lot of roasts at the weekend and will help you use the leftover fats and meats. You can collect all the grizzly bits and meat with the vegetables and bones, so you just have the liquid.
Get Yourself Winter Soup Ready
Winter soups are extremely popular. They’re warm and hearty, as well as easy options when you’ve had a long day at work. Make sure you’re ready with your own homemade broths. Not only will you have the perfect option for your diet and lifestyle, but you’ll have something that is excellent for your health. The store-bought options are packed with unnecessary extra salt and other additives.
Prepare a selection of broths and label them clearly. Mason jars make the best storage containers, as you can’t get extra chemicals from the glass like you can with the plastic. The jars are also easy to transport if you decide to use a broth as a drink at work.