This is my Rosetta stone of soup, a broth that can be transformed to meet a myriad of nutritional needs, from serving as a delicious sipping tea to a powerful base for more hearty soups and stews. This rejuvenating liquid, full of magnesium, potassium and sodium, allows the body to refresh and restore itself. I think of it as a tonic, designed to keep you in tip-top shape.
- 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
- 2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks
- 1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
- 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
- 4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
- 2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
- 1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
- 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 (8-inch) strip of kombu
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 quarts cold, filtered water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Rinse all vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries and bay leaves. Fill the pot with the water to 2 inches below the rim, cover, and bring to a boil.
Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours. As the broth simmers, add more water if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted.
Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve, then add salt to taste. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 4 months.