Veggie Stock Paste – or the Gate to Umami Heaven

soup paste in jar

This soup paste is so good that for months it has sneaked itself organically into just about any of my cooking. The kinship is already hooked as well, and after several runs, I can say that you can really do it in all variations of veggies, depending on which vegetables you have on hand. And, best to make lots of it.

I also like this cooked paste better than the raw version, that looks really nice in the jar, but is not quite as versatile. This one refines soups, stews, risottos, vegetable dishes, …you name it, but also spices up salad dressing or purees, just about anywhere a bit of vegetable umami is needed.

Or, just as it is! I like when coming home hungry to drink first a glass of hot broth: Simply dissolve 1-2 teaspoons in hot water. When tasting, therefore, I would make sure that the paste, completely dissolved in water, has a round umami flavor. Even if the production takes some effort: I promise, you will not regret it.

The recipe is quite simple – however, you do need a good food processor, better even a high-performance blender or Thermomix, to end up with a really smooth paste. Good ingredients are any strongly flavored vegetables, such as roots (carrots, parsnips, parsley root), celery (stalks and greens), onions, leeks, and for the umami-kick mushrooms, dried tomatoes and some Parmesan cheese. You could leave out leeks or mushrooms, however the dried tomatoes are not exchangeable because they bring such a deep and umami-rich taste.

I always use natural rock salt. If you use any other salt, you may need to adjust the ratio accordingly.

For the total amount of vegetables, I use around 18% rock salt, which is 180g for one kilo of vegetables. You can take less salt, but a minimum of 12% is required so that the paste is stable. Of course, more salt is also possible, but I usually prefer salting in the pot or on the plate (using my beloved pink finger salt). There is no spice heat or pepper used in the paste, as I prefer pepper freshly ground over the food and like to rather vary the spice heat. You can totally increase the amount of fresh herbs, I use altogether mostly several bunches.

The easiest way is using a Thermomix, because this device blends and cooks at the same time, nothing can burn and the texture is very good – however, the preparation using a pot and blender or food processor is just as doable. When cooking in a pot, make sure that the mixture does not burn (stir often and if required add a little water (or wine)). Depending on how juicy your veggies are, keep the mass as liquid as a thick stew and then later cook the pureed paste down while stirring. It also helps if there are a few fresh tomatoes in the mix as they give off water. Chop the herbs finer, if using a pot, too, because the blender might not do it so well later.

Before transferring the cooked mass into a blender/food processor, wait a bit until it looses heat, otherwise the risk of burning yourself by spills is very high.

And another tip for aesthetics: the vegetable colors also make up the color of the paste. So if you use a lot of leek or celery greens with carrots, you get a brown paste, when using less green, a reddish paste.

Last, a thought on stability. In General, the jars probably last for many months when sealed tight in sterilized jars. However, I always store my jars in our second refrigerator, so I have no experience of storage in the pantry. Please leave me a message if you try it. Once a jar has been opened, a cool place in the refrigerator is inevitable though. And, always remember to use a clean spoon!

This post has not been sponsored in any way. Due to German advertisement laws it needs to be declared that the post contains unpaid advertisement for a brand.

Veggie Soup Paste

umami-rich heaven stuff
Cook Time2 hrs

Equipment

  • high-speed blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Vegetables, such as roots (carrots, parsnips, parsley root), celery (root, stalks and greens), leeks, and 2 onions, 4 or more garlic cloves, some fresh tomatoes, 100g mushrooms.
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 180 g Rock Salt, ground
  • 1 bunch Parsley, chopped
  • ½-1 bunch Thyme, plucked
  • a few sprigs Rosemary
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 80 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  • Clean vegetables and peel if necessary. Weigh the total amount and determine the amount of salt.
  • Chop the onions and garlic and set aside. Dice remaining vegetables.
  • Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes in a large pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, salt and white wine. Add finely chopped herbs. Cover the mixture for about 40 minutes, simmer and stir from time to time. If it threatens to burn, add some water. When everything is cooked soft, let it cool until it is just hand warm.
  • Meanwhile prepare the glasses (sterilize in boiling water or in the oven).
  • Transfer the cooled mass into the blender or food processor and finely puree it (you might need to do this in different batches). Rinse the pot briefly and put back pureed veggies.
  • Now is the time to test the broth. Dissolve one to two teaspoon of the paste in a glass of hot water and taste. If necessary, adjust the salt.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil again, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and carefully pour the paste (which is very hot!) into sterilized jars.
  • Yay! Enjoy your umami-enriched cooking!

Notes

The jars keep refrigerated for many months. When using always make sure to use a clean spoon.

Veggie Soup Paste (Thermomix recipe)

umami-rich heaven stuff
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins

Equipment

  • Thermomix

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Vegetables, such as roots (carrots, parsnips, parsley root), celery (root, stalks and greens), leeks, and 2 onions, 4 or more garlic cloves, some fresh tomatoes, 100g mushrooms.
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 180 g Rock Salt, ground
  • 1 bunch  Parsley, chopped
  • ½-1 bunch Thyme, plucked
  • a few sprigs  Rosemary
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 80 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  • Clean vegetables and peel if necessary. Weigh the total amount and determine the amount of salt. Chop veggies (but onions and garlic) into large chunks.
  • Crush onions and garlic in Thermomix on speed 6 for a few seconds. Add the olive oil and and sweat onions and garlic on Varoma for a few minutes. Add remaining vegetables and crush on speed 7 for 10 seconds.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables, mix on speed 7 shortly, add salt and white wine. Add chopped herbs. Cook the mixture for about 40 minutes or until soft on Varoma without the measuring jug, but cover with simmering basket to prevent splashes.
  • Meanwhile prepare the jars (sterilize in boiling water or in the oven).
  • When done, finely puree the paste covered with measuring jar on speed 10 for one minute.
  • Now is the time to test the broth. Dissolve one to two teaspoon of the paste in a glass of hot water and taste. If necessary, adjust the salt content.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese, bring the mixture to a boil again for about 30 seconds at speed 6, then carefully pour the paste (which is very hot!) into sterilized jars.
  • Yay! Enjoy your umami-enriched cooking!

Notes

The jars keep refrigerated for many months. When using always make sure to use a clean spoon.
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