vegetarian umami broth

Keep a supply of this flavorful broth in your freezer and your vegetarian friends will thank you.  It can be used as a base for soups and braises.  So delicious, it can be enjoyed on its own.  The vegetables are roasted along with a trio of umami-rich ingredients …miso, mushrooms & kombu.  They are then simmered in a pot of water to allow the deep rich flavors to be fully extracted.

The miso is blended with a small amount of oil & water to form a paste.  Once the remaining ingredients (all but the peppercorns) are evenly spread out on the baking sheet, the paste is distributed throughout.  I find the easiest way to coat it all is to use your hands.  Just smear it all around.  It’ll bring you back to your childhood …you know, the whole finger-painting thing.

Remove the roasted ingredients from the oven after about one hour then transfer it all to a large pot and fill with four quarts of water.  Throw the peppercorns in the mix and let it all simmer.

After about an hour, the broth will have reduced by about half.  Let it cool a bit, then strain it all through a fine-mesh sieve.

You will find this to be so flavorful that it seems to be concentrated.  A little goes a long way.  Package it up in pint-size containers and stash it away for just that moment when your sauce or soup needs a flavor boost.


vegetarian umami broth

Adapted from Bon Appétit

Rich & flavorful with boosts from miso, mushrooms & kombu

Servings 2 quarts


  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce package of dried shiitake mushroom slices
  • 4 6x4-inch pieces combo (brown Japanese seaweed) (about 1 ounce)
  • 2 medium onions, unpeeled, halved through root, remove peel & reserve, then very thinly slice. (about 14 ounces)
  • 1 medium carrot, unpeeled, very thinly sliced (about 4.5 ounces)
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced (about 3.5 ounces)
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns


  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. 
  2. Whisk miso, oil, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Crush the mushrooms and kombu with your hands over a rimmed baking sheet.  Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic, and parsley and toss to combine. Drizzle miso mixture over vegetable mixture and toss to coat.  Bake, tossing halfway through, until vegetables are slightly shriveled and the mixture is fragrant, 60–75 minutes.
  4. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large pot.  Add peppercorns and 4 quarts cold water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until broth is reduced by half, 60 to 75 minutes.

  5. Let broth cool, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.

Recipe Notes

  • Do Ahead: Broth can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

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