Clear soups have a long and venerated history in traditional cultures across the globe. In fact, the term “broth” is mentioned as early as the year 1000, and "potage," which is French for soup, by the 1400s. Here are five reasons why veggie broth
deserves a place in every healthy kitchen, and how to make broth on your own.
Vegetable Broth Benefits
1. Broth is a healing food
Light, savory broths have been instrumental in human healing since the dawn of time. A good broth is nourishing, hydrating, and easily absorbed by people of all ages, making it ideal fare for those recovering from illness. Rather than taxing the digestive system, broth, along with fresh pressed juices and teas
, offers nutritious hydration as the body to concentrates on healing. Along with being comforting and soothing, clear soups also contribute vitamins, minerals, trace nutrients and antioxidants.
2. Broth supports an alkaline system
“Acidosis,” or an overly acid body pH, has been shown to contribute to a range of diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, osteoporosis and kidney stones.1
While sugar, dairy, meat, coffee and junk foods are largely acid forming, alkalinizing veggie broth can help rebalance your system, especially when you include anti-inflammatory spices such as curry powder
, ginger and chili pepper.
3. Broth is highly versatile
A good basic broth can be adapted to fit a wide range of cultural flavors simply by varying the herbs and spices. An Asian-inspired version, for example, might include coconut milk and ginger, or curry powder in India. Think oregano, cumin
and lime for Mexican-style broth, or garlic, basil and rosemary
for Italian. Veggies can also transform your mixture, like adding grated beets for a ruby-hued “Borscht” broth.
4. Broth is slimming nourishment
For centuries, people around the world looking to shed extra pounds have included broth on their daily menu, as it fills you up without filling you out, so you are less inclined to overeat. Researchers have found that consuming a nourishing, richly flavored broth when you feel hungry can curb high-calorie snacking
while helping you stay well hydrated. Tasty, homemade broth can be surprisingly satiating with very few calories.
5. Broth is an ideal use for food scraps
Among other benefits, making a weekly batch of veggie broth is a great way to make use of extra produce. For example, you may often find yourself with odds and ends of carrots, onions, celery, parsley, yams, etc. No need for waste, as these assorted scraps are great for basic broth, which you can season in various ways for extra flavor and wellness benefits.
How to Make Broth for Wellness
Fill a large pot halfway with purified water, heat to simmering, then add your ingredients, cut to a similar size for even cooking. Sauté veggies in advance for extra rich taste or add them to the pot raw for an oil-free broth. Begin with the winning trifecta of onions, celery and carrots, then, consider these additions:
- Corn (adds a buttery richness)
- Green beans
- Lima beans
- Zucchini, butternut, or other squash
- Beets (lovely, ruby-red broth)
- Frozen mixed vegetables
- Antioxidant-packed herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, turmeric, cumin, etc. Don’t forget the bay leaf!
- Dried shiitake or maitake mushrooms (wellness benefits and savory flavor)
- Miso paste
- Veggie soup base
- Veggie bouillon
- Pink Himalayan salt
- Fresh-ground pepper
- Fresh lemon juice
To optimize taste and nutrients, simmer your broth gently for 30 minutes rather than boiling it, or use a crock pot set to low. In a rush? You can always make Express Broth in a snap by steeping this tasty dehydrated veggie mix
in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain your broth when ready, then finish with miso, bouillon, or pink Himalayan salt to taste.
Enjoy a cup anytime you need a little pick-me-up or a light, soothing snack. Feel a tad under the weather? Broth to the rescue. For extra immune support, be sure to include garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, turmeric and a dash of cayenne
. Best wishes for a happy, healthy season ahead!
Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Feb; 14(1): 8–12.