I use vegetable bouillon all the time in my cooking, and not just for soups. I love the way it amplifies the flavours in risottos, curries, stews, chillies, and even in warm salads with roasted/braised vegetables. Sometimes, I liked to sprinkle some bouillon powder onto my simmering dishes instead of salt, to add depth and complexity in addition to the salty kick.
What I don’t love about vegetable bouillon powder? All of the ingredients in it that aren’t vegetables. Some companies are better than others, to be sure (Harvest Sun, for example, makes a pretty good one), but many contain a whole host of ingredients I’ve never heard of before. How do you feel about corn syrup solids in your bouillon? What about hydrolyzed soy/corn protein? Monosodium glutamate (commonly known as MSG)? Tricalcium phosphate? Disodium guanylate? Disodium inosinate? Maltodextrin? silicon dioxide? Sulphites? Traces of milk ingredients?
Or, my personal favourite, “Colour”?
By the time I stumbled across the recipe for homemade vegetable bouillon on Noms for the Poor, I was beyond ready to start putting the actual veggies back in my bouillon, minus all the junk. So I busted out the ol’ food processor, enlisted one of my roommates (thanks, Monika!), and got down to work.
The beauty of this bouillon is that it can easily be adjusted according to what you have in your fridge, and that the measurements don’t have to be overly precise. We were using my very old, non-digital scale, which basically only weighed items by increments of 100g — we did a lot of eyeballing, and didn’t sweat it.
One thing I will say is that the amount of salt recommended in the original recipe (200g) is a lot of salt. It’s meant to preserve the bouillon in the fridge, and to keep it scoopable from the freezer should you be freezing it. Instead, I cut the salt in half, divided the bouillon into about 8 little storage containers, and keep one in the fridge to use right away; I’ll defrost the others as I need them. Still, because of the salt, I’d start with only 1 teaspoon of the bouillon per 1 cup of liquid, and add more later, to taste.
Ooh! One more thing: this recipe makes quite a lot of bouillon, so you may have to process it in batches. I made mine in a 4L food processor, and was barely able to cram it all in. Bouillon for months!