Polypore Vegetable Broth

DSC03785Straight from the forest forage, healthy, practical, and super easy…  Are you kidding me?! Reading up on mushrooms, (polypores specifically), on my latest blog obsession Reishi and Roses, led me to this simple and extremely applicable recipe for harvested polypore mushrooms or any edible type.  I happen to have red-belted polypores (Fomitopsis pinicola) on hand, and garlic and onion in abundance from the garden.

This recipe truly is grown and gathered, and not only are the ingredients abundant with immunity benefits (garlic is anti-bacterial, onions help reduce inflammation and heal infections, and red-belted polypores are also anti-bacterial and help reduce inflammation – see my post on gathering red-belted polypores), but I also make loads of soup that require a vegetable stock base.

As I chop and boil (pretty much all DSC04002there is to do!), I’m listening to Alabama Shakes’ Sound and Color. The second album by the band after an EP gained Alabama Shakes national attention, Sound and Color topped the Billboard 200 Chart when it debuted in April of 2015. Emerging to critical acclaim, the band breaks out of their previous retro-soul feel into a more, well, colorful sound on this latest release.  Led by frontwoman Rebecca Howard, this band from Athens, Alabama is as playful as they are soulful, and the listener gets to revel in all aspects of sound. The tunes still have soul, but strings, playful plucking, and hand drums on the occasional song have this album reflecting classic rock as much as R & B, with Howard’s voice still a powerful instrument in and of itself. One listen to the Zeppelin-inspired “The Greatest,” will have the listener hooked, dancing in stockings in the kitchen and sliding across floors with a spoon-microphone. Time to get groovy.

I got my shake on while I peeled apart polypores, sliced loads of onions and garlic, and filled a 10 qt. pot with my broth ingredients. This recipes could easily be halved to fit into a crock-pot or smaller pot. DSC03877

Ingredients:

  • 2 polypores, chopped DSC03984
  • 4 small onions
  • 5 medium-sized cloves of garlic
  • 8 quarts water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste (I use ample salt, as this is a large batch of broth)

Directions:

  • Dice garlic and chop onions and polypores and add to soup pot or crock pot.  DSC03986
  • Add 3 tbsp. salt
  • Add water to pot, bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add bay leaf.  If using a crock-pot, cook on high for 30 minutes, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Leave pot simmering for a minimum of two hours.  The longer the polypores are boiled, the more nutrients can be extracted.
  • Leaving the broth to simmer on the stove during the day, or in a crock-pot for the day or overnight will bring out more flavor and nutritional benefits from the polypores, onion, and garlic. *After our broth boiled, I moved the pot to our woodstove to simmer overnight DSC03992
  • Once your broth has simmered for your desired length of time, strain and pour into sterilized quart-sized mason jars. To sanitize on the stove, fully submerge jars and lids in water, and boil for at least 12 minutes. Remove them carefully from heat with tongs, and lay on a clean towel.*I often sterilize my large jars by using a hot cycle on my dishwasher, and then selected a “sani-rinse” option.
  • Strain the broth into the mason DSC04017jars, leaving approximately 1/2-3/4″ of room, depending on whether you are going to to use, store in the pantry, and keep in the freezer (you’ll want the maximum amount of space for the freezing option).  Here are the storage and use choices:
    • A) If you are going to use the jar within the next 3 weeks, no worries! Screw the cap on, place in the fridge, and you’re done.
    • B) You can freeze the broth for future use, and simply thaw 24 hours before you’d like to use in your next soup. For this option, firmly screw on the lid leaving at least 3/4″ of space, and place in the freezer.  Viola! Defrost later and enjoy.
    • C) If you are lacking freezer space, or want to give his healthy broth away for gifts, you’ll need to can ’em and seal ’em. This way, the broth can be stored in a pantry or on a shelf, and will keep for months.
    • To do this without a pressure cooker, place enough water in a 10-qt. soup pan to cover your jars.  *You may use a smaller sized pan if you don’t have a pot this large, and place the jars on their sides, but this will limit your ability to boil more than one or two at a time.
    • Bring water to a boil. Submerge jars underwater by at least 1/2″, and boil for at least 15 minutes.  Let jars remain in water for an additional 5 minutes, before removing to the counter to gently cool.DSC04029
    • If can seals properly, the lid will “pop” into place (a fun noise to listen for as the jars cools on the counter).  If a jar does not seal properly, make sure to use within a week, and place in the refrigerator for storage.
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