Monday, February 8, 2010


In the bad old days, when I used processed foods, one of my favorite things to enjoy on a winter afternoon was a cup of boullion, which I made using a pre-packaged square of heaven-knows-what and hot water. I love this recipe because the cup of steaming soup I can enjoy is at least as good as the "mystery boullion" I used to make, it is actually quicker to prepare than the pre-fab cube, and, most importantly, I know exactly what's in it.

This recipe requires a food processor. I have a 8-cup / 2 liter / 2 quart model, and needed every cubic inch of it. I found the best approach if you are tight for space in your food processor is to add a few of the ingredients, then pulse a few times. The ingredients collapse and free up more space for the next few ingredients.

I would suggest making half of the batch described below for your first attempt. I would also encourage you to add and subtract ingredients according to your taste. For instance, I added a red pepper, and omitted the cilantro.
This may seem like a long list of ingredients to put together, but remember that you will have "instant" boullion for the rest of the winter.

5 ounces / 150 g leeks, sliced and well-washed
7 ounces / 200g fennel bulb, chopped
7 ounces / 200g carrot, well scrubbed and chopped
3.5 ounces / 100 g celery
3.5 ounces / 100g celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 ounce / 30g sun-dried tomatoes
3.5 ounces / 100g shallots, peeled
3 medium garlic cloves
9 ounces /250g fine grain sea salt
1.5 ounces / 40 g flat-leaf parsley, loosely chopped
2 ounces / 60g cilantro (coriander), loosely chopped
Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse about twenty times. Add the next four ingredients, and pulse again. Add the salt, pulse some more. Then add the parsley and cilantro.

You should end up with a very moist, loose paste of sorts.

Keep 1/4th of it in a jar in the refrigerator for easy access in the coming days, and freeze the remaining 3/4 for use in the next month. Because of all the salt it barely solidifies making it easy to spoon directly from the freezer into the pot before boiling.

Start by using 1 teaspoon of bouillon per 1 cup (250 ml), and adjust from there based on your personal preference.

Makes roughly 3 1/2 cups.

To give credit where it's due: I found this recipe online, and it is apparently inspired by The River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin. The U.S. edition of the River Cottage Preserves Handbook will be available this summer.