Triplicate Staff

Many times when I'm in the mood for a healthy homemade soup I realize I'm out of chicken stock and I really don't like to resort to using bouillon cubes that have MSG and contain mostly salt.

So, this habit of making a quick vegetable bouillon for flavoring soups is healthy, very handy and much better tasting than buying store-bought stock or bouillon. Here's how you make it and one of my favorite winter soup recipes to try:

Clean and scrub your veggies well, then chop into 2-inch pieces as necessary to put into a food processor.

1 bunch of celery, including the leaves (about 8 stalks)

2 large or 4 small onions (peeled)

1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves)

6 carrots (peeled)

1 bunch of parsley, stems included

1andfrasl;2 cup or more of sun dried tomatoes (optional)

Into the food processor, pulse the vegetables until they are a fine

mash of ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt and whiz a minute

more. Place into a freezer bag and keep in freezer for up to 2 months.

Use 1 tablespoon of this mixture in 1 cup of hot water for an instant

vegetable broth.

This mixture can be frozen in ice cube trays for convenient serving

sizes. It isn't as salty as the stuff you buy from the store so you

will have

to taste for seasoning when making your soups or using it for

sautandeacute;ing foods.

I love to roast vegetables, put them into a pot with a little of this

veggie broth and puree with a stick blender until smooth. Then I dollop

a bit of greek yogurt on top or maybe some pesto and a handful of

pumpkin seeds or croutons. Here's a recipe I've been making while the

acorn squash have been on special. It's elegant and delicious:

Gingered Acorn Squash Bisque

2 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed and roasted in 400-degree oven

for 45 minutes (or until fork tender)

1 tablespoon dried ginger (or a tablespoon of fresh ginger grated and

added to the veggie stock mixture)

3 tablespoons homemade bouillon mixture

3 cups water

salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil


reserved squash seeds toasted (rinse, dry, spread on cookie sheet

coated with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake 10 minutes in

300-degree oven or until the seeds start to pop)

Roast the squash, then when cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh

and add to the water flavored with the homemade bouillon. Add the

ginger. Blend with stick blender and heat. Add more water as needed to

get the thickness you desire. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit

of buttermilk, cream or yogurt on top and swirl then sprinkle the

toasted seeds on top. Serve.

Anne Boulley is a local chef and culinary instructor with a passion

for artisan foods. Her cooking classes and services are offered via her