Firstly, a bit of housekeeping. No, I am not posting a recipe for FODMAP friendly vegetarian broth as a ‘new year new me’ slim down ploy. I am approximately 0% interested in playing into the Christmas food shaming culture. I ate my fruit free Christmas pudding for breakfast yesterday, if that gives you any idea.
Things I am also 0% interested in? Acting like I’m a nutrition professional. I am not. This FODMAP friendly vegetarian broth is something I make and use to give myself comfort, and my digestive system a break. I’m not going to sit here and lecture you with the nutritional qualities of each ingredient, because I would just be Googling them.
FODMAP FRIENDLY VEGETARIAN BROTH
This broth uses a variety of low FODMAP, vegetarian ingredients to create a broth that is akin to it’s brone broth counterpart IN TASTE AND COMFORT levels. I like to make it and store some in the freezer for when my digestive system is playing up and I need something soothing to eat (or not eat.)
You might have noticed garlic in the ingredients and you might have panicked. I use garlic here to create a garlic flavoured ghee, much like the garlic infused oil you would find at the supermarket. I am horribly adverse to garlic, but I use it here for the nutritional qualities, and I don’t get that ‘oh god I’ve been garlicked’ feeling when I drink the broth. You can omit it if you would like.
Fennel, carrot, mushrooms and kale form the aromatic flavour base of this broth. I use fennel as a replacement aromat for onion. The mushrooms provide an earthy, meaty and umami taste to the broth, although I have tested it without the mushrooms.
The protein powder is an optional addition for a bit of a fulfillment boost to the broth. I use whey protein isolate, which is virtually lactose free. I find it way less irritating than rice based protein powders, but this article has a good run down, in case you want to use a different variety. You can absolutely omit protein powder if you don’t want to include it. You could also, as an aside, use some marine collagen, if you’re pescetarian.
The nutritional yeast, miso, turmeric, ginger and seaweed provide additional flavour to the broth. However, they also contribute to the nutritional quality. Not that we’re delving into that, because we’re not dieticians, right? Right.
Initially, I wanted to include as many nutrition boosting foods as possible in this recipe. Protein powder, coconut aminos, dulse flakes, hemp seeds, et al. I realised, upon finding it rather difficult to acquire said ingredients, that if I can’t find them in a multicultural inner city suburb, many others would struggle too.
So, you can absolutely add these ingredients. I do. Use coconut aminos in place of Tamari, dulse flakes and hemp seeds as a sprinkle, and protein as a boost. However, they’re not necessary, and you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars acquiring them.
In my research for a good vegetarian broth, I realised a lot of people dislike mushrooms. I probably should have realised that earlier, but I digress. Personally, I think mushrooms are essential in adding an umami depth to the broth that would normally be acquired through meat. I don’t think it tastes quite the same without. However, I have included a mushroom free variety so as not to disgruntle.
In terms of the seaweed, I have no substitute. I highly recommend acquiring some, as it will change your vegetarian stock game. If you live in Melbourne, Minh Phat grocer in Abbotsford is where I buy mine, although most Asian grocers and even health food stores should have it. You can sometimes buy fresh kombu from the miso stall at Abbotsford farmer’s markets on Saturdays, which is pretty neat.
I really love the soothing quality of ghee in this stock. Ghee is basically ‘oil of milk’ or clarified butter (so a packet told me) and is virtually lactose free. It feels light but rich at the same time, which is why I love it. If you’re vegan, you can use a good quality oil of choice. If you can’t find ghee, you could also use good quality butter.
You can strain the broth and serve on it’s own, or you can keep the vegetables in the broth, for a very yuppy pasta free sort of minestrone. If your digestive system is particularly fragile, it can be nice to sip the broth without eating the solids. They can, of course, be used for other things – vegetable bakes, frittata, a quick pasta dish.
You can serve your broth with zucchini noodles, a good quality organic egg, and some kimchi. You can serve it Ottolenghi style, with every herb under the sun. You can serve it as a quasi-ramen, with noodles, some crispy tofu and greens. Although this is not generally how I use it, you can also use the FODMAP friendly vegetarian broth in pasta dishes or whatever other indulgent dish you have planned. Ain’t nothing it can’t do.
I freeze the broth in single portions to drink when I’m feeling a bit rough. This is kind of a revelation since I’ve only just cleaned out my freezer of junk I’ve been hoarding for the past three years. I also freeze the vegetables used in the broth, and add them to frittatas or back into the broth, if I want a fuller meal.
As an aside, and although I haven’t done this myself, you could use an immersion blender and create a soup. Might be worth pulling out a bit of the seaweed first, if you’re not into a strong taste of seaweed. Just a thought from a completely inexperienced party.
FODMAP friendly vegetarian broth
- 3 generous tablespoons ghee or substitute, see notes
- 2-3 cloves garlic crushed lightly (I leave the skin on for this)
- 50 g ginger finely sliced
- 1 fennel bulb root to tip, sliced relatively finely
- 3-4 large carrots sliced relatively finely
- 1/2 bunch of kale roughly chopped
- 100 g oyster mushrooms chopped
- 50 g shiitake mushrooms chopped
- any herbs you have on hand to taste
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes make sure to use the oil too, and check that they don’t contain onion or garlic
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with the mother
- 1 tablespoon miso paste I use genmai, just make sure it’s gluten free and real miso paste, no sugar etc
- 2 tablespoons Tamari
- 1 sheet kombu see notes on where to find it
- 25 g wakame see notes on where to find it
- 2 + tablespoons nutritional yeast to taste (optional)
- 4 cups strong freshly brewed green tea
- 8 cups water
- Lots of freshly cracked black pepper
- Sea salt to taste (you might not need any, I like salty broth)
- Add the ghee to a large pot over a medium heat, and allow to warm. Once warm, add the garlic, and allow to cook for around 5-10 minutes, or until it is fragrant. Add the ginger, and continue to cook for another five or so minutes.
- If you’re particularly worried about not finding it again, fish the garlic out now. I like to leave it in and remove it prior to adding the water, but you do you.
- Add the chopped vegetables and turn the heat up to medium high. Stir well, and place a lid on to sweat them for a couple of minutes. Ideally, they will start to brown, adding additional flavour to the broth. Stir the vegetables to coat them in the flavouring.
- Lower the heat, and add the apple cider vinegar, miso paste and Tamari to the pot. You might need to add a splash of water to ensure it doesn’t burn. You can start adding cups of water at any point you see fit. If you haven’t already, fish the garlic out now.
- Add the remaining ingredients – nutritional yeast, seaweeds, green tea, water and seasoning. Stir well to combine. Place a lid on the broth, and allow it to cook over a low-medium heat for 25 or so minutes.
- You can serve immediately, or allow to cool and store in the fridge or freezer. You can strain the broth and retain the vegetables for frittata, eat the vegetables, or maybe even blend the entire thing up.
MUSHROOM FREE VARIETY
Eh, it pains me to write this because I don’t truly believe in it. However, you can attempt to replace the meaty depth with one, or all, of the following: An eggplant, charred over flames. Extra sundried tomatoes. Extra miso and/or nutritional yeast. I used all of these options, which resulted in a more tomato-ey based broth, but a nice one all the same. Again, I must reiterate that the original is streets ahead, but this is acceptable if you’re a mushroom hater.