Brothl’s Vegetable broth, cooked for 12 hours and served with kelp, carrot, fennel and celery alongside homemade sourdough and butter. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Last week we shared our signature beef bone broth, but we also love our locally grown veg, and today we have a strictly vegetarian dish to share.
With our vegetable broth at Brothl we source kelp and other sea vegetables, as well as the roots of dandelions, stalks and cores of cabbages, kale, and broccoli to ensure our vegetable broth is as nutrient dense as possible. We include kelp as this a great source of agar, which works in a very similar way to gelatin. Agar is loaded with nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It’s a great source of calcium and iron, and very high in fibre. Agar is known for its ability to help carry toxins out of the body, reduce blood pressure and to promote healthy hair, skin and nails. Fresh kelp can be sourced from any clean beach! You can also buy dried kelp from The Staple Store in Melbourne, or any good health food store.
When making vegetable broth, especially this one, it’s important to separate out the vegetables used in the broth base, with the fresh vegetables you add in the last hour or so of cooking. Time is needed to extract goodness out of roots, kelp and other tough vegetables in the broth, but the vegetables you add towards the end want to remain just slightly firm and sweet, so shouldn’t be allowed to simmer for too long.
At Brothl we serve this dish alongside our bread and butter. I know, I know, bread and butter – it sounds boring, but if done well it is the best accompaniment to a soup or broth, and is packed with good fats, nutrients and minerals too. Making our own bread and butter has become a daily routine at Brothl. We use Schulz Organic Farm full cream dairy from Timboon near the Twelve Apostles on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Herman Schulz started farming bio-dynamically there in the late ’60s and his farm has become a great example of a sustainable dairy business. We culture this cream overnight, then cool it down and mix until the cream splits and create our butter from it.
Alongside our butter we serve our freshly milled sourdough bread. I always recommend serving sourdough bread over white bread – sourdough culture breaks down the phytic acids in the wheat grains, which is slow and time consuming process, but makes the bread far more nutritious and gentler on the stomach. We only use 100% whole grain wheat that we bring over from Eden Valley Bio-Dynamic in Western Australia and also, rain water from our farm in Monbulk. Once you start eating freshly milled bread there is no going back. Our bread is alive and full of life.
Fresh vegetables delivered daily to Brothl. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Ingredients (SERVES 4 – 6)
For the broth base
1 head celery
Brussels sprout stalks
5L water (we use rainwater)
Bunch of sweet small radishes
1 bulb of fennel
2 sticks celery
1/2 cup kelp
Fresh kelp harvested from the Bellarine Peninsula used in Brothl’s tasty vegetable broth. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Place all broth base ingredients into a large pot and bring to 95 degrees celsius (slightly below a simmer) and cook for 12 hours. Strain. Once again, if sitting your broth on the stovetop for 12 hours proves difficult, you can transfer the pot to the oven and cook with the lid on at 95 degrees.
About half an hour before you are ready to serve, rinse and slice your remaining vegetables (our suggestions are above but you could add any you like) and add to strained broth. Bring the broth up to a simmer on the stove until the newly added veg is tender but retains a bit of crunch. Season with salt and lemon before serving.
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