Long ago I found a recipe for bouillon in the River Cottage Preserves Handbook. A lightbulb went off, and I have been making my own version of veggie bouillon ever since. By blending all of the freshest herbs and vegetables in peak summer and preserving them with salt, you save that crisp fresh flavor which is fantastic in winter when making soups and stews.
When you think of bouillon you probably imagine a hard dry cube - but this is more of a thick paste. You use it like you use a cube though, by stirring a spoonful into your recipe when making soups, broth, stews, or even pasta. This is very salty as bouillon should be, and the salt is what preserves the green vibrant flavors – a little goes a long way.
I call my version garden bouillon because I use many things found in my garden. I like to make several batches over the summer so that I have enough to last all winter. Keep a jar in the fridge for using now, and freeze the rest. This has a high level of salt so it will never freeze quite solid, so you can still spoon out some even fresh from the freezer. I like to freeze in 1 cup jars so that I can pull one out at a time throughout the year.
A food processor is the best tool for the job.
Homemade Garden Bouillon
The nice thing about homemade bouillon is that you use what YOU have in your garden. Just think about what flavors go well together. I love adding extras like kale, purslane, nasturtiums (leaves, flowers, capers), coriander heads going to seed, celery root, leeks, and anything else in season at the time that adds a nice punch of flavor plus lots of great vitamins and minerals. I always start with the base aromatics of onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and then add additional flavors from there. So make your own combo - the main thing to remember is to have a 4:1 ratio of herb/veggies to salt. So for every 400 grams of herbs/veggies/flowers, use approximately 100 grams of good quality sea salt.
This is approximately 780+/- grams of veg/herb, so I blended in just under 200 grams of good quality celtic sea salt.
I will make a few more batches as the summer goes along, using what I have fresh and in season. This is a great way to preserve the fresh, vibrant summer flavors, to use long into the winter!
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, permaculture designer, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.