You all know about the broth bag, right? You save all your vegetable scraps in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and when it's full you use it to make stock. Well, I've had a bag in my freezer for a while now, and I want to make some bean and barley chowder this weekend, so I decided to make some broth. I put the contents of the bag in my biggest slow cooker crock, filled it with water, and left it on High all day.
When I got home from work, I could smell the savory broth the moment I got off the elevator. It smelled great, and my apartment smelled even better. I turned off the slow cooker and strained the broth into a storage container. It was a lovely dark brown, and smelled like onions and other wonderful homemade goodness.
And then I tasted it. It was bitter. I tasted it again. Still bitter. I tasted it a third time. Did I want to use this bitter liquid as the base for my chowder? I did not. I poured it down the sink.
I'm trying to figure out what went wrong. Here's what was in the bag:
onions (ends and skins)
potato peels (just a few)
celery tops and ends
squash ends -- summer and winter
I'm thinking either the squash or the lime rind was a mistake. The other stuff seems benign. I always use the onion skins in my broth because they make it a pretty color, and I can't remember ever having a problem.
Any ideas? I had both red and yellow onions in there, but I don't think that can be it.
So I will be making my soup this weekend with Spike broth powder, plus about a cup of bean stock I have languishing in the freezer. Gayelord Hauser was a charlatan, but the broth powder is pretty good. I'm going to grind up some dried wild mushrooms too, as recommended by America's Test Kitchen, and hope that does the trick.