In developing these recipes I have taken into consideration using commercially available ingredients. I have tried to keep the measurement of ingredients consistent with what is available as a single commercial unit. I try not to include increments more than 1 ½ cups of beans or fire roasted tomatoes because that is how much is in a typical can of those ingredients at the store. For items like tomato sauce or paste I recommend freezing the leftovers from the packaged product.

I make vegetable broth because it is hard to find a commercially sold product that tastes good to my family and does not have gluten or cane sugar. If you are fortunate enough to find such a product that you like and it is easier for you to use it then go ahead and try it.

I use vegetable puree to save money. When I first started making broth I had all these leftover, limp vegetables. Although I was able to feed them to my chickens, I felt there must be something useful to do with them. Then one time I was making a recipe that called for ¾ cup of vegetable broth. As luck would have it, even though I’d just made broth a few days before, I couldn’t find any broth. I’d forgotten I had made a couple different soups with broth when I started dinner that night. I looked in my fridge and couldn’t’ find any broth, even at the back behind the stash of other foods. I desperately looked in my freezer. Underneath a bag of tortillas I found a few cubes of broth. I had exactly ¾ cup of broth left. I set it on the counter and was grateful I had the exact right amount. I felt so lucky. Then I had to leave the kitchen. When I returned I discovered my three year old had drunk most of the broth. With most of the dish already cooked, I couldn’t abort mission. I was glad my child liked my broth, but it added more flavor than using just water. The dish wouldn’t taste very good without that broth. Right about then I felt pretty sorry for myself that I couldn’t just throw in a couple cubes of processed bouillon. So I started wondering what I could use as a bouillon substitute. Since I had just made broth a few days before I hadn’t given all the leftover limp vegetables to the chickens yet. I decided to experiment with pureeing them and seeing what happened. I found that if I mixed 1/3 veggie puree with 2/3 water and added salt, it tasted like veggie broth. Suddenly I was grateful my little child had drunk the last of my broth. I now had a way to use my boiled veggies and I could see that saving me a lot of money. All that said, if you are able to use commercially packaged bouillon and don’t want to hassle with making your own veggie puree, give it a try. I haven’t done that so I can’t say what quantities you’ll need. But I was clueless on quantities when I first tried making veggie puree so I’m sure you’ll figure it out as well.

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